The second decision in our property litigation case review 2016 is Leaseholders of Foundling Court and O’Donnell Court v The London Borough Of Camden which concerns the requirement to consult a superior landlord where qualifying works or a qualifying agreement is required under section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (LTA 1985).

In this case the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (UT) held that, for the purposes of the consultation requirements under section 20 of LTA 1985, where a superior landlord intends to carry out qualifying works or enter into a qualifying long-term agreement, the statutory obligation to comply with those consultation requirements was an obligation imposed on the superior landlord and not the intermediate landlord under the headlease. It also required the superior landlord to consult not just the intermediate landlord, but also each of the individual leaseholders even though those leaseholders were subtenants and therefore had no direct relationship of landlord and tenant with the superior landlord.

Landlords of residential premises who are obliged to comply with the consultation requirements under section 20 of the LTA 1985 should take note. Failure to comply with the consultation requirements could be costly as it will mean that the superior landlord’s ability to pass on its costs to tenants is limited unless the First-tier Tribunal agrees that the superior landlord may dispense with the consultation requirements. This is likely to pose a significant practical difficulty for superior landlords who will not know the identity of those subtenants with whom it is required to consult.

If you have any queries please contact Ben Jones in our dispute resolution team on 01872 265100 or