Tenants making substantial improvements to your property – is it worth it?
Landlords should beware of the dangers of encouraging tenants to pay for substantial improvements to their rented property.
Although in practical terms expenditure on a property by the tenant benefits both the parties, there is a hidden danger of a defence being raised when the Landlord seeks to obtain possession.
This defence is called promissory estoppel.
To succeed in this defence the tenant must prove
- that a promise was made and
- that the tenant acted on that promise to their detriment.
So for instance, if the Landlord agreed that the tenant could instal a new fitted kitchen and that the tenant could reside in the property for as long as he wanted to, but subsequently, the Landlord wanted to sell the property, the tenant could raise the defence of promissory estoppel.
Such a defence could easily be proven if there is a written agreement.
Alternatively, the tenant would need to provide receipts or other proof for work done at the tenant’s expense. If no receipts are available, the tenant could rely on photographic evidence, testimony from contractors who carried out the work, or their own testimony.
If the estoppel defence was successful, this would prohibit any eviction from the property.
Here at MLS we are regularly instructed by landlords to advise on compliance and possession claims. If you have any questions please contact us on 01244 478 730 and we will be happy to help.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us on for advice.