The Landlord And Tenant (Furniture And Fittings) Act, 1959

Publication Date01 Mar 1960
AuthorAubrey L. Diamond
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.1960.tb00584.x
180
THE
MODERN
LAW REVIEW
VOL.
23
THE
LANDLORD
AND
TENANT
(FURNITURE
AND
FITTINGS) ACT,
1959
IT
follows naturally from any attempt to control rents that landlords
must not take premiums.
If
they are permitted to obtain a lump
sum payment on the grant of a tenancy the whole scheme of rent
control may effectively be evaded. The first of the Rent Acts, the
five-section Act of
1915,
therefore provided that a landlord
‘(
shall
not in consideration of the grant, renewal
or
continuance of a tenancy
.
. .
require the payment of any
.
. .
premium
. .
.
in addition to
the rent.
.
.
.”
The only sanction for this prohibition was the right
of the tenant to recover any such payment actually made.‘
The succeeding Acts continued and extended this principle. The
Act of
1920
substantially re-enacted the prohibition,2 and added
the force of the criminal law, making
it
an offence to require any
payment
or
consideration in contravention of the prohibition.8
The same Act also made
it
an ofience for a statutory tenant (but not
a contractual tenant) to
(‘
ask
or
receive the payment of any sum,
or
the giving of any other consideration,” by anyone other than the
landlord, as
a
condition of giving up posse~sion,~
No
doubt an easy way to get round the law soon presented
itself.
(‘
This isn’t a premium-it’s just a payment for furniture.”
In view of the well-known doctrine that the courts will not inquire
into the adequacy of consideration,
it
was thought necessary for the
Act of
1928
to provide that
where the purchase of any furniture
or
other articles is required as
a
condition of the grant
. . .
of a
tenancy
. .
.
the person asked to pay could request a written
statement of the price demanded, and that the excess
of
the price
demanded over the reasonable price should be treated as
if
it
were
a
~remium.~
The Act of
1949
consolidated these earlier provisions, and
extended them in two ways:
it
was no longer possible to take a
premium in relation to a term
of
fourteen years
or
more, and a
contractual tenant could no longer require a premium for assigning
his tenancy.” The Act of
1954
permitted premiums on the assign-
ment of a lease originally granted for more than twenty-one years.‘
Finally, the Act of
1957
provided that requiring a loan should be
treated
as
requiring a premium; furthermore, where a tenancy was
1
The Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (War Restrictions) Act,
1915,
8.
1
(2).
2
The Increase of Rent and Mortgage Interest (Restrictions) Act,
1920,
s.
8
(1).
The wording was
now
‘I
shall not
as
a
condition
of
the grant.
. .
.”
9.
8
did
not apply
to
terms
of
fourteen years
or
more:
8.8
(3).
The criminal court could order repayment
of
the premium.
Similar
provisions applied to the statutory tenant
who
required the purchase
of
furni-
3
s.
8
(2).
4
Act of
1920,
B.
15
(2).
5
The Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions
Act,
1923,
8.
9
(1).
Maximum fine,
€100.
inre:
8.
9
(2);
such
a
lease.
II
The Landlord and Tenant (Rent ControJ) Act,
1949,s~. 2
and
3.
7
The Housing Repairs and Rents Act,
1954,
8.
38
(1).
But
not
on
the grant
of

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