Most leases contain lists of obligations, known as covenants. A breach of one or more of these obligations is known as a breach of covenant.
Common examples of tenants’ breaches are:
- failure to pay the rent/service charges;
- sub-letting without permission;
- carrying out unauthorised alterations;
- failure to repair.
Typical examples of landlords’ breaches are:
- wrongly withholding or delaying consent for either assignment, sub-letting or alterations;
- breach of quiet enjoyment (which is the tenants’ right to use their property without unlawful interference from the landlord).
“Thank you Mike and Chelsey for your diligence and ready accessibility; we really appreciated that.” MA, August 2018
A party suffering as a result of a breach of covenant will usually have a number of remedies available to them. Which remedy is the most appropriate will depend entirely upon the nature and extent of the breach of covenant and the suffering party’s objectives.
If a financial loss can be evidenced, the suffering party may be in a position to claim damages. Depending upon the circumstances, it may also be appropriate to:
- look to bring the lease to an end;
- apply for an injunction to remedy the breach of covenant; or
- (for a landlord) to levy distress or regain possession of the premises.
However, very often it’s possible to achieve a commercial solution without relying on any specific remedy.
“I would like to thank you for your expertise and speed [in the recent matter].” HT, November 2018
Breach of Covenant Solicitors
We have considerable expertise and experience in advising and representing landlords and tenants where there has been a breach of covenant. Where a dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation, we can represent you in an action in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) or in the civil courts.
From the outset, we will advise you fully where you stand in terms of legal costs, including the ability of the landlord to recover costs from the tenant under the terms of the lease, or alternatively by an order of the relevant tribunal or court.