Is there any way around renting restrictions for a leasehold flat?

My boyfriend wants to invest in a flat to rent out for holiday lets, but has been told by his solicitor that there is a restriction in the lease against it. Is there anything he can do?
Question: My boyfriend wants to invest in a flat that he can rent out for holiday lets. Now that he has exchanged contracts, he has been told by his solicitor that there is a
restriction in the lease against holiday letting. 

We have never heard of this before. Is there anything he can do about it? He wouldn’t have tried to buy the flat if he had known about the restriction earlier.

Answer: Before contracts were exchanged, your boyfriend’s solicitor should have given him a copy of the lease to read and his solicitor should have drawn his attention to the terms of the lease and explained to him important and onerous covenants. 

Having exchanged contracts, your boyfriend has entered into a binding contract with the seller and if he fails to complete the purchase on the completion date agreed, he is likely to be in breach of contract. If your boyfriend ignores the covenant against holiday letting and lets it in such a manner, he will be in breach of the terms of the lease. 

Your boyfriend should see if the landlord is prepared to vary the terms of the lease, which could solve the problem, although the landlord is likely to require payment for doing so — this is often called a “premium” — and he will have to cover the landlord’s legal costs, too. 

If your boyfriend has to pay to get the terms of the lease varied or, indeed, if he cannot get the lease varied to allow holiday letting, then he may have cause for complaint against his solicitor, particularly if they knew he wanted to use the flat for holiday lets.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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