A lessor who violates his legal obligations under the 1988 LTA may have his tenant sued for damages, which may be punishable, and in some cases to obtain an injunction. The tenant may also use existing remedies to ask the court to declare that consent has been improperly withheld or delayed. When the declaration is made, the statement allows the tenant to do what he or she has requested permission for, without formal agreement, although this option may take time. The burden of proof rests with the lessor to prove that he or she is acting reasonably if he retains consent, and what is “appropriate” depends on the circumstances. This is not always as easy to judge as in the following examples: According to the 1988 LTA, the landlord is below three main tasks: the answers are in the Landlords and Tenants Act 1988 (LTA 1988), which defines how landlords should behave when processing a tenant application, either by written consent or in a formal authorization. In addition, when a lessor receives a written request for approval, he or she is legally required to give consent within a reasonable time, unless it is reasonable not to give consent. It is not unreasonable for a landlord to want to protect his precious wealth, but this must be rejected against the need for his tenants to obtain consents that can be decisive for their ability to adapt to changing times, but one thing is clear: legal advice is essential to prevent them from breaking the law. Once the lessor has given its consent, it must grant it in writing or complete the corresponding license for immediate transfer or omission. If the lessor refuses consent, the statement of reasons must be written down; all reasons must be taken into account, since it cannot, at a later stage, invoke reasons that are not mentioned in the written notice. It is very unusual to have a commercial lease that gives carte blanche to the tenant to assign, abstain, debit or partially own his tenancy agreement without first obtaining the agreement of his landlord. Most of the time, the approval clause is conditional on the owner not being able to withhold consent inappropriately, but what does this mean in practice – can the owner refuse on a whim, insist on conditions or simply not react? An owner who uses delaying tactics to avoid responding to a request for consent may find that it will backfire; if a written decision is not made within a reasonable time, consent is deemed denied. The consequences can be serious, as the lessor is then prevented from relying on reasonable grounds of refusal if he had made a decision within a reasonable time. Bath Rugby against old alliances – good deed, but no try! What represents “reasonable time” may be different in all cases, but in general a decision should be made in days or weeks, not months.
There may be a difference if the tenant requests that the application be processed urgently, so that a request of this type is not ignored, as a shorter period may be considered appropriate.