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Review Your SQE 1 Practice Records

Examination Timing: 00H01M11S

Susan is the fee simple owner of Rose Cottage, which she has let to Peter on a 30-year lease. The lease contains a provision that Peter cannot assign his lease to a third party or create a sublease "without the consent of the landlord." After 10 years, Peter approaches Susan and asks for consent to assign his lease in Rose Cottage to Mary, who is already a tenant of Susan and occupies a flat in the city centre on a periodic tenancy. Susan is concerned that if she consents to the assignment of Peter's lease, Mary may give notice on her flat and move into Rose Cottage, leaving Susan unable to find a new tenant for the flat. 


Which of the following statements best describes the legal position?

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Your selected option: E

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Susan can only withhold consent if this would be reasonable. It would not be reasonable for her to withhold consent in the circumstances. Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 implies a proviso that the landlord's consent must not be unreasonably withheld into all qualified covenants. A refusal of consent has been held to be unreasonable where it is unconnected with the subject matter of the lease (Ashworth Frazer Ltd v Gloucester CC [2001] 1 WLR 2180), and in this scenario, Susan's motivation for refusing consent is wholly unconnected with her lease to Peter. Key Point: Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927 restricts landlords from unreasonably withholding consent to assignment or subletting. The landlord’s refusal must be related to the subject matter of the lease and not based on external concerns.

Collect Question

why e is wrong

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CELE SQE PASS wishes from Lucky Lion_

Thank you for your question. It's great that you are engaging with the material.

The question relates to whether Susan, as the landlord, can reasonably withhold consent for Peter to assign his lease to Mary. Let's consider the relevant legal principles:

1. **Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927**: This section implies into qualified covenants against assignment a provision that the landlord’s consent must not be unreasonably withheld. Therefore, any refusal by Susan must be reasonable.

2. **Reasonableness of Refusal**: According to the case law, notably **Ashworth Frazer Ltd v Gloucester CC [2001]**, a landlord's refusal of consent must be connected to the subject matter of the lease. The refusal must address issues pertinent to the property being let.

3. **Susan's Concerns**: Susan's concern that Mary might vacate a flat she currently occupies and move into Rose Cottage, thus making the flat harder to let, is not directly related to the lease of Rose Cottage. It is an external concern, unrelated to the lease Peter currently has on Rose Cottage.

Based on these principles, it would not be reasonable for Susan to withhold consent solely based on her concern about the vacancy of another property. Her concern does not pertain to the subject matter of the lease between herself and Peter.

Thus, the incorrectness of option "e" stems from the fact that Susan's reason for withholding consent does not align with the legal criterion established under Section 19 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. The reason must relate directly to the terms and potential impact on the lease of Rose Cottage, and not on her interests in another property.

I hope this clarifies why option "e" is incorrect. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask!

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