To end a tenancy which falls within the scope of
the Act the landlord must, under section 25, serve a notice in
the prescribed form.
This notice must relate to the whole of the property which was
This creates a problem in cases where distinct parts of the property
comprised in a single lease are owned by different landlords:
for example, where a landlord who has let the property subsequently
disposes of his interest in part of the property which he has
let. The policy behind the general rule is that the landlord should
not be able subdivide the reversionary interest in the property
let so that parts are excluded from a renewal to which the Act
would otherwise have applied.
The general rule mentioned above is not spelt out
in the Act, but has been laid down by judicial decision. The Department,
in accordance with the Law Commission's recommendation, propose
that this should be confirmed and clarified in the Act. Accordingly,
where the reversion in the demised property has been subsequently
divided between different owners, then, for the purposes of the
Act, it will be clear that "landlord" means all the
owners of parts of the reversion collectively.
This would mean that, in such cases, notices would have to be
served by or on, and proceedings taken by and against, all the
This aspect of the proposal does not change the existing
legal position, but rather confirms on the face of the Act the
interpretation applied by the courts of the existing legislation.
It does not appear either to reduce or impose a burden. The Department
suggests that this provision may be regarded as the removal of
an inconsistency or anomaly (under s1(1)(d) of the Regulatory
Whilst it could be regarded as anomalous that there is at present
no specific provision for divided reversions, it might perhaps
be more appropriate to describe this as a supplemental provision,
The protection afforded to the tenant by the existing
legislation (as it has been interpreted by the courts) in preventing
a landlord from subdividing the premises and "cherry picking"
which parts he is prepared to include in a new lease is maintained
by this aspect of the proposal. Similarly, the protection afforded
to a landlord who may share with another his interest in a property
occupied by one tenant is maintained by the proposal, because
a tenant wishing to renew a lease on the whole of the premises
will have to make requests of all the separate landlords.