Acting against terms of a lease

0 votes
Parish Council leases a building to a local charity on a fully repairing lease. Charity cannot afford essential repairs . Can the Parish Council legally carry out repairs ? I consider that the Parish Council could be considered to act ultra vires if they funded the repairs and the only way they can fund the repairs is by means of a grant.
asked by (120 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
In the situation described, the charity is plainly in breach of the terms of the lease. One might question the wisdom of granting a full repairing lease to a tenant that has limited resources. However, the council is still the owner of the building and must ensure that it is maintained, as this is in the council’s best interests. Usually, a lease will include a provision whereby the owner can carry out repairs if the tenant does not do so. In principle they can be charged to the tenant, but if the tenant has no funds, that is academic. The council will have to decide how it wants to resolve the situation. The practical options look to be terminating the lease, carrying out the repairs, or giving money to the charity so that it can carry out the repairs. Assuming the council wants to support the charity, I’d think the best choice would be to renegotiate the lease, removing the obligation to repair and perhaps increasing the rent. Then the council should carry out the repairs. Quite apart from the financial issue, one would wonder whether the charity has the resources to effectively commission repairs. Although obviously I have no details, and so my comments are provisional. Whatever choice is made, I wouldn’t think that the council would be barred from carrying out repairs; a lease is not capable of making an action ultra vires.
answered by (26.9k points)

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