Reg 9 – non commercial tenancy

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    I have a claimant who has been claiming for 5 years at a property owned by his son. We knew the son owned it originally but have just picked up more info when the rent was increased. We have just become aware that the mortgage on the property is £2500 per month yet the rent charged is only £350 per month. Also the tenant states the tenancy is for his lifetime ( as he is elderly this may or may not take him over 21 years). We have now deemed it non-commercial.
    Anyone any views or info that will help me at tribunal?


    Willing to be shot down here but I think a “tenancy for life” would be deemed by a court to be for 90 years as a matter of standard practice, so the length of time that the tenant will actually live for is irrelevant. That said, there was a Commissioner’s Decision a little while ago that cast doubt over the whole “long lease” issue as, under property law, any lease/tenancy over 7 years must be registered by deed with the Land Registry. If it’s not, then it can’t be a long lease and it’s likely to be deemed a periodic tenancy by a court.

    With respect, I would be very careful about relying on the difference between the rent and the landlord’s mortgage liability. Low rents don’t automatically equal non-commerciality. If the landlord can demonstrate that he doesn’t need to charge more than he is it will be hard to prove that it’s not commercial.

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