The Landlord and Tenant Act 1730 is still valid and used on a daily basis by landlords to recover double rent from tenants. It applies to both residential and commercial tenancies.
Once a tenant’s right to occupy premises has terminated, a landlord can notify the tenant under the 1730 Act that the tenant will be from that point on liable to pay at a rate equal to double the yearly value of the premises (Section 1) unless vacant possession is delivered up.
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is the principal regulatory regime in respect of commercial premises. There are a variety of ways in which the tenant’s right to occupy leased premises can be terminated.
All commercial tenancies within the Act are automatically continued by the Act until they are terminated. Termination can be by a Landlord’s Section 25 Notice or a Tenant’s Section 26 Notice. Whichever Notice is served, the Notice will specify a date on which the tenancy will come to an end. The date can be extended by agreement, but if it is not extended, the tenancy comes to an end unless Court proceedings have been issued to protect the tenant’s renewal rights.
We are frequently instructed by tenants to maintain their renewal rights which requires careful consideration of the lease and the parties.
If a tenant fails to extend a statutory date and fails to correctly issue Court proceedings before the statutory date expires, then the tenant is effectively a trespasser in the premises and the landlord can demand payment under Section 1 Landlord and Tenant Act 1730 at a rate equal to double the yearly value of the premises.
Tenants are not always certain who their landlord is. This is because the freeholder can sell the freehold to a new landlord and the tenant will only receive notification at or about the time the transfer completes. Sometimes such notification is not given, or if it is, it is missed, and this can cause great problems for the tenant. Correct analysis of statutory notices served, analysis of all rent demands and service charge demands, and clear understanding of HM Land Registry searches are required so the tenant can be sure who the landlord is.
Reliance is often placed on obtaining up to date office copy entries from HM Land Registry, but since there is a gap between the sale of a freehold completing and its registration at Land Registry (which can be over 12 months at present), this can cause major problems.
Pinney Talfourd offer expert advice in all matters relating to statutory notices under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. We act for both landlords and tenants. Correct legal advice as early as possible when statutory notices are being served is invaluable to both Landlord and Tenant clients and should avoid tenant’s facing potential claims for double rent.
The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Stephen Eccles, Partner in the Property Litigation Team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of June 2022.