Qualifying Tenants – RTM

A person is the qualifying tenant of a flat if that person is tenant of the flat under a long lease (section 75(2), CLRA 2002).

No flat can have more than one qualifying tenant at any one time. If there is more than one long lease, only the tenant under the most inferior long lease will qualify (section 75(5), CLRA 2002). If there are joint tenants, they jointly constitute “the qualifying tenant”.

There does not appear to be any bar on a company being a qualifying tenant for the purposes of an RTM claim.

There is no requirement for a qualifying tenant to occupy their flat as a residence and no limit on the number of flats which can be held by a qualifying tenant.

Where the tenants are trustees, their trustee powers are extended to permit participation in the RTM unless there is express provision in the trust instrument to the contrary (section 109, CLRA 2002).

If the tenants are in arrears of rent, they are not precluded from serving a claim notice seeking the RTM. It is the qualifying criteria under the CLRA 2002 that they need to satisfy; this makes no mention of rent and service charge arrears.

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