Covenants in Leases

Topics: Tort, Law, Renting Pages: 9 (2584 words) Published: May 10, 2012
Leasehold covenants are contractual obligations contained in leases, between the landlord and the tenant. There are generally 3 types:

those implied at common law in every lease, subject to contrary provision •those implied by statute, even in the face of contrary provision •those that are the result of the parties’ express agreement to that effect.



Every lease contains an IMPLIED COVENANT that the landlord will provide the tenant with quiet enjoyment of the property – meaning he will not interfere with the tenant’s possession of the property (NOT NOISE!!), and if he does it will give the tenant grounds to redress.

Southwark LBC v Mills [2001]: Lord Millet: “the covenant for quiet enjoyment is broken if the landlord or someone claiming under him does anything that substantially interferes with the tenant’s title to or possession of the demised premises or with his ordinary and lawful enjoyment of the demised premises.” =>tenants of flats that lacked sufficient sound insulation complained they could hear everyday sounds made by residents of neighbouring flats. => Held: the covenant could include excessive noise. However, THE COVENANT ONLY COVERED PROSPECTIVE ACTS, AND NOT ACTS DONE PRIOR TO THE TENANCY BEING GRANTED. Therefore, in this case, the lack of sound proofing during the building of the properties (before they moved in) did not result in a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment.

Kenny v Preen [1963]: fucked up Llord served notice to quite to old woman banged on her windows + other threatening behaviour. Held = a breach of the covenant (now is covered fro Protection of Eviction Act 1977). The court granted an injunction to restrain the landlord from continuing to threaten the tenant, and from breaching the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Pearson L.J: the actions of the landlord constituted to an “invasion of her rights as tenant to remain in possession undisturbed.”

Lavender v Betts [1942]
The landlord took extreme measures to gain re-entry to the premises; he removed the doors and windows. Held = a breach of the covenant to provide quiet enjoyment.

Drane v Evangelou [1978]: EXEMPLARY DAMAGES CAN BE AWARDED FOR THE UNLAWFUL EVICTION OF A TENANT. In this case the behaviour amounted to trespass. =>Llord bolted door from inside, thrown all property out the window damaging some of it.

Branchett v Beaney [1992]: EXEMPLARY DAMAGES FOR TRESPASS INCLUDE COMPENSATION FOR MENTAL DISTRESS AND INJURED FEELINGS, no separate damages till be awarded. =>Llord bulldozed part of front garden to build an access road to a new house. =>exemplary damages awarded for trespass, tenant wanted more for mental suffering, held was included.

Protection from Eviction Act 1977, s1 as amended by HA 1988: UNLAWFUL EVICTION AND HARASSMENT AS A CRIMINAL ACT =>person liable for unlawful eviction and harassment of occupier can be, on summary conviction, fined upto £400 and imprisoned for upto 6 months, or on conviction on indictment, subject to a fine or up to 2 years imprisonment. =>(2) unless he proves, that he believed, and had reasonable cause to believe, that the residential occupier had ceased to reside in the premises.

Housing Act 1988, SS 27,28: CIVIL LIABILITY FOR UNLAWFUL EVICTION-DAMAGES!! S 27: damages for unlawful eviction
S28: (1) The assessment of damages = the difference in value of the interest of the Llord between a) assumption that the tenant has same right to occupy as before(i.e. as if tenant living there and b) assumption that tenant no longer has that right (i.e. empty flat)

Tagro v Cafane [1991]: A tenant may CHOOSE between accepting an offer of reinstatement and seeking damages under the Housing Act 1988 s.27 and s.28. =>Llord harassed tenant and changed the locks, but she found the door had been broken down and her stuff damaged/destroyed/stolen. =>Llord was ordered to reinstate.

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