Sensible property owners are not just interested in the regular receipt of rent but also choose their tenants wisely and take steps to ensure that they behave themselves. A First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruling underlined the potentially grave consequences of failing to do so.
The case concerned the long leaseholder of a flat in a purpose-built block who sublet the premises to a couple who had been the subject of a barrage of complaints from other residents. They were said to have continuously disrupted neighbours’ lives by smoking drugs in the property, causing regular and severe noise nuisance, littering and engaging in various acts of anti-social behaviour.
The landlord of the block responded by seeking a determination under Section 168(4) of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 that the leaseholder had breached various covenants or conditions in her lease. They included a requirement not to create noise that caused annoyance or nuisance to other residents and an embargo on the flat’s use for illegal or improper purposes.
In granting the determination, the FTT noted that the leaseholder had not engaged in the proceedings and that evidence from neighbours concerning the couple’s behaviour had thus gone unchallenged. She had also breached a term in her lease that forbade subletting of the flat without the landlord’s consent. The ruling opened the way for the landlord to seek forfeiture of her lease.