Tenant’s Rights Survive Transfer of TitleA corporate landlord who tried to prevent its tenant from exercising the option to purchase the property after the title to the property had been transferred to a subsidiary company (for reasons unconnected with the right to buy) found the court unsympathetic recently.
The court ruled that the tenant’s right was exercisable against the subsidiary, which was ordered to transfer the property to the tenant. The fact that the transfer was not done specifically for the purpose of preventing the tenant from acquiring the property was not relevant.
Tenant BewareWhen there are problems relating to defects in premises that are let, the tenant will normally try to obtain redress through the repairing covenant. However, if that does not look like the best way forward, it is sometimes possible to bring an action for nuisance against a landlord who fails to take action.
In a recent case, a tenant took action against his landlord for nuisance relating to the ingress of water into his flat, alleging that this interfered with the ‘enjoyment of the property’. However, the problem had existed before he leased the flat, and this was the tenant’s undoing. The court held that the landlord could not be liable in nuisance for damage that pre-dated the grant of the lease. The moral for prospective tenants is ‘tenant beware’.