Posted: Monday, 2 February 2009 @ 09:49
A recent case has confirmed that a landlord not only owes a duty to a tenant to consider its application for licence to sublet properly but also to deal with it promptly.
In this case, a landlord took six weeks to grant its consent to a tenant's application to sublet. Although consent was ultimately given, the proposed subtenant had by that time withdrawn from the proposed sublease and the Court decided that the proposed subtenant's decision to withdraw was caused by the delay in the landlord granting its consent. As a result, the landlord was liable to pay the tenant damages for the loss of rent from the subtenant.
The case is a timely reminder that in an environment where tenants are increasingly looking to reduce their costs by subletting unwanted space, a landlord must ensure it doesn't expose itself to a claim for damages by not giving the application its immediate attention. This includes ensuring that where a landlord has an agent and solicitor dealing with the application on its behalf that they also act promptly.
Steven Petty, Commercial Property Solicitor
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