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Hello, I am LawDenning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have beenan expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as youappreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on avariety of subjects.
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Doesthe rent, when overdue increase by £15 per day?
Whoworded this clause because it is very badly done?
I will expand on my comment that the clause is very badly worded.
I will come back to enforceability in a moment.
It says that the administration charge is increased by £15 per 24 hours thereafter. Does that mean that it is £30 the first day and £45 the second day and £60 the third day and so on?
If that’s what it means, I think you have more chance of winning the lottery than enforcing this clause. It is punitive and it is a principle of English law that penalties, to be enforceable, have to be a genuine measure of loss and not seen as any kind of punishment. Using the legal “blue pencil test” the judge would not make the clause reasonable but would strike it out. The clause is just about as badly drafted as it could be.
When it gets struck out, everything else goes with it which includes the liability to play by standing order, the basic administration charge, and interest. You will lose the lot.
This should have been in several clauses:
1 pay by standing order. That is okay and enforceable
2 administration charge. That is okay and enforceable but not after 24 hours
3 increase in administration charge. That is not enforceable
4 interest. That is enforceable
However, not only of not enforceable, 24 hours is unreasonable. That is why leases have periods allowing for late payment which vary between seven days and 28 days.
If it is not in already, you need to adding “the tenant shall pay as rent, any costs incurred by the landlord in enforcing the terms of this agreement”.
That means that if you go to Small Claims Court to recover rent, you can still recover solicitor’s costs when you win because they are contractual costs payable under the agreement.
As it is:
1 Yes You will only recover the basic rent.
2 As there is a provision for interest in the lease even though not enforceable, you lose the right to interest and penalties under late payment statutes.
3 You will only get court and solicitors fixed nominal costs if you use sols, not the sols hourly rate
Modified and drafted properly:
2 Yes, either under statute or the provision in the lease but not both.
3 Yes, incl sols usual hourly rate if you win
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