Indigestion for landlords: a new acid test for redevelopment under ground (f)

In October, we wrote about the Supreme Court case S. Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited [2018] UKSC 62, concerning a landlord’s ability to oppose a lease renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the “Act”) using ground (f) (redevelopment). Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in favour of the appellant tenant. On face-value, the implications of this case seem to be tenant-friendly; however, here we discuss further the commercial implications of the ruling for both landlords and tenants. Continue reading

Terminating a business tenancy using the redevelopment ground – Part 1: Showing the landlord’s intention to redevelop

Author: Frances Edwards, Senior Associate, Real Estate Dispute Resolution, London

One of the most common questions we are asked by developers at the land assembly stage of their scheme is what they need to show in order to be certain of successfully terminating a lease that has the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ("1954 Act").  It is not always an easy question to answer as each development will have different issues.   However, some general pointers can be given.

The "redevelopment ground" of opposition to the grant of a new lease is set out in section 30(1)(f) of the 1954 Act and is often just referred to as "ground (f)" and the best starting point when considering whether the nature and extent of the work will enable possession to be recovered is the wording of the statute.  Ground (f) provides that the landlord may oppose an application for renewal of a lease on the ground "that on the termination of the current tenancy the landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the premises comprising the holding or a substantial part of those premises or to carry out substantial work of construction on the holding or part thereof and that he could not reasonably do so without obtaining possession of the holding". 

As is clear from the wording, it is necessary to consider both the landlord's intention and also the nature of the works.  In this first article, we look at the landlord's intention.  Issues surrounding the nature of the works will be considered in the second article.

Landlord's intention

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