Can landlords recover costs for breach of tenancy?

Can landlords recover costs when a tenant is in breach of the tenancy?

One of the most common questions asked by landlords is “can I recover my legal fees from the tenant?”

Quite rightly, a landlord will want to know that they are going to be able to recover the costs of any action they are forced to take as a result of the tenants behaviour.

Can landlords recover costs?

As with the majority of the law, the answer to ‘can landlords recover costs’ is dependent on a number of factors:

  1. Does the tenancy agreement contain a clause that states the tenant will be liable for the costs incurred by the landlord in taking action for a breach of the tenancy?

YES: If the tenancy agreement does contain the appropriate clause, then the landlord can claim for their legal fees as part of the court proceedings.

NO: If there is no clause in the tenancy agreement, then the landlord has no contractual entitlement to claim their legal fees. This may result in the landlord being burdened with paying the legal costs.

2. If the claim is for a payment of money then, providing the value of the claim is over £10,000.00 then the landlord can claim their legal fees. Please note, courts do not always award the full amount of legal fees. If the value of the claim is under £10,000.00 then it will be classed as a small claim and the court will not order the tenant to pay the landlords legal fees.

Can landlords recover costs

Can landlords recover costs

As the majority of cases involve claims under £10,000.00 it is sensible for a landlord to incorporate into the tenancy agreement a suitable clause along the lines set out at 1 above. By not having the clause, any action you may be forced to take against the tenant can prove costly.

To discuss recovering legal fees when a tenant is in breach of the tenancy – or any other landlord and tenant related matter, please call me on 0113 320 5000 or email maf@winstonsolicitors.co.uk

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