tmd was asked to advise the head leaseholder of a building arranged over basement, ground and three upper floors let to them on full repairing and insuring terms. Although originally a residential property the building had been used as offices for a considerable time. The head lessee was no longer in occupation and had sublet the premises on four separate internal repairing and insuring leases.

Prior to determination of the headlease, tmd prepared a schedule of repairs to the external fabric and common parts and subsequently tendered and supervised works to comply with their obligations under the leases. By so doing, they were able to recover the majority of the costs from the sub-lessees through the service charge.

At determination, the landlord prepared and served a schedule on the head leaseholder claiming that further works were required. Whilst their argument was not without some merit in respect of the sub-let areas, it was our view that the landlord’s claim was grossly overstated and that much of the claim would fall away under the provisions of Section 18(1) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927.

Following protracted negotiations the claim was settled at a sum well below the initial claim and the client was able to achieve recovery of a significant proportion of the costs from the sub tenants.