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There’s no profit in alienation consents

West India Quay gives landlords and tenants a clearer view of what consitutes a reasonable fee for processing applications for consent to assign, write Martin Dray and Kester Lees

15 November 2016

A recent High Court decision shows that landlords would be wrong to imagine that recovery for the costs of dealing with requests for consent to assign and sublet will be other than modest.

Most leases contain a covenant obliging the tenant to pay the landlord’s reasonable costs of processing applications. Even in the absence of an express provision, a landlord’s usual control over alienation – its consent must be obtained and can be given subject to reasonable conditions – may amount to something similar.

A fertile ground for disagreement is the question of what is a reasonable fee. Landlords and tenants tend to see things differently. What has been missing is an authoritative yardstick giving both sides a feel for what, objectively, is a reasonable fee. That gap may be filled by the decision in No.1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd v East Tower Apar...

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