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Landlord Legal Issues May 2017

Landlord & tenant lawyer, Tessa Shepperson of www.landlordlaw.co.uk answers your questions

Q. I am trying to get a mortgage to buy a property that is already tenanted. I am using a tenancy agreement from one of the landlord associations. However, the mortgage company want me to remove the words ‘other than with the written permission of the landlord, which will not be unreasonably refused’ from the section prohibiting subletting. But won’t that invalidate it?

A. There is a lot of misunderstanding about this wording. We add this wording because of the unfair terms in consumer contracts rules which are now part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. It is generally understood that clauses which aim to prohibit something a tenant will normally have the right to do, should have wording which provides for the tenant to ask permission along with a statement that the permission will not be unreasonably refused.

The general understanding is that if this wording is not present the clause will be invalid under the regulations. I suggest that you try to explain this to the mortgage company. If they persist in their request and if you decide to stay with them, I suggest you do write them a letter stating that your understanding is that the change in wording will render the clause unenforceable due to the unfair terms rules set out in Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Make it clear that if they persist in this request, you will hold them liable if you suffer any loss as a result of this.

However, probably your best course of action is to find another mortgage company.

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