Who is the Competent Landlord for the purposes of the 1954 Act?
If you have recently purchased a property which is subject to leases that are protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the “Act”) and you want to serve notice under the leases to oppose the grant of a new tenancy, you must ensure that you are the “competent landlord” under the Act. The “competent landlord”, and therefore the party that is entitled to serve such notice on tenants, is the person with the legal estate. If you have completed a property purchase which has not yet been registered, you will not yet be the owner of the legal estate (only the beneficial estate).
As such, if service of such notices cannot wait until registration of the purchase has completed, you should require the seller to serve the notices on your behalf. Please drop us a line if you would like more information on this, or any other real estate matter.