Flat Leases: Top 10 Problem Areas


Statute provides many rights and protections for flat owners. However, these can cause problems for both landlords (including RTM companies and landlord companies owned by the tenants) and flat owner alike. This practical video will look at some of the trickier problems in the light recent cases and offer practical tips how to avoid and resolve them, including:-

  • Alterations: why saying ‘yes’ may not be sensible: Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent; Triplerose v Patel
  • Service charges – tenants who must pay, and tenants who need not – and handling shortfalls: Saunderson v Cambridge; Firstport v Cityscape
  • Assigning, sub-letting and other uses: Bermondsey Exchange v Koumetto; No 1 West India Quay; Burchell v Raj
  • Tenant default and landlord remedies: Stemp v Ladbroke; Gibbs v Lakeside
  • Landlord’s failure to repair: Jeune v Queens Cross; Blue Manchester v North West Ground Rents; Moorjani v Durban

Learning Objectives

As a result of watching this video, the delegates will:

  • Be able to advise on the importance and impact of mutual enforcement clauses
  • Understand the difficulties for all landlords, in dealing with tenant default
  • Be aware of the pitfalls inherent in modern lease drafting of a tenant wishing to use the flat for holiday and short term lettings
  • Be able to advise tenants as to practical options faced with landlords’ breach of covenant



Sarah Thompson-Copsey is a former property litigation partner at the firm now known as Dentons, where she acted for and advised many blue chip retail clients, developers and institutions. She is now a freelance legal trainer, lecturing and writing regularly on commercial property topics, with an emphasis on avoiding & resolving disputes. Sarah also works as an independent auditor of legal practices.

Sarah is co-author of Tenants’ Pre-emption Rights: A landlord’s guide to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (Jordans) and Mixed Use and Residential Tenants’ Rights: The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and Leasehold Enfranchisement, (Elsevier 2009). She is also on the property consultation board of Practical Law Company and a site editor for the Property Law website at www.propertylawuk.net.

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