Docklands Solicitor

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

 

Tenancy Agreements and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (“the Regulations”) is a UK legislation which implements the EU directive into domestic law.

The majority of residential landlords and tenants enter into contract as consumers and therefore the Regulations will apply. Accordingly, knowledge of Regulations is essential in drafting and negotiating any tenancy agreement.

In general under the Regulations care must be taken by the landlord in limiting the tenant’s right in the following areas:

·         Clauses which impose any penalty or charge on the tenant must state that the charge should be both reasonable in amount and reasonably incurred. For example, clauses which require the tenant to pay a sum in excess of the landlord’s actual loss will be considered unfair and unenforceable.



·         Clauses which require the landlord’s written consent, must be followed by the words “consent not to be unreasonably withhold or delayed”.



·         Clauses which limit or exclude rights of a tenant are almost certainly going to be the breach of the Regulations and be deemed unfair. For example, the court has held in a deciding case that the clause in a tenancy agreement which prohibited the tenant to do anything which in the landlord’s opinion might be or become a nuisance was unfair and unenforceable.



·         Clauses which are difficult to understand, legal terminology which is not in common use or legal jargon with a specific legal meaning which may not be understood by an ordinary person is considered to be unfair. Terms such as ‘indemnity’, ‘lien’, ‘joint and several’, ‘liquidated damages’, ‘void or voidable’, ‘estopped’, ‘demised’ are considered unfair unless a clear explanation is given alongside.

Without a good knowledge of the Regulation and tenants’ rights, one may unwittingly beach the rights of a tenant while drafting a tenancy agreement. This is why non-lawyers must be very careful when drafting or amending tenancy agreements.
Alireza Nurbakhsh Ph.D Solicitor:  Tel 0845 270 2511

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Kaslers Solicitors LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England under LLP no. OC310653; authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under reg no 408936; governed by professional rules set out in the Code of Conduct click here to visit and has its registered office / main trading address at Suite 3, 10 Churchill Square, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4YU - tel: +44 (0)845 270 2511; fax: +44 (0)845 270 2513; DX 92863 West Malling.
The LLP Members are Michael D Breeze LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 110184) and Simon McCree Scott LL.B (Hons) (SRA reg no 298202).