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Objecting to a new business tenancy - “intention” to redevelop

The Supreme Court has today (5 December 2018) handed down judgment in S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd [2019] UKSC 62.

The case looked at the grounds of opposition to the granting of a new business tenancy under section 30(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, in particular ground (f) namely that the landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the premises. The key point at issue in the case was whether the landlord could be said to intend to demolish or reconstruct where it intended to undertake works, but with the sole objective of obtaining possession of the premises.

The Court held that the landlord did not have the necessary intention and so could not refuse the grant of a new tenancy. The Court highlighted that the landlord would only undertake the works if they could not get the tenant to leave otherwise, and it would not undertake the works if the tenant persuaded the Court that the works could reasonably be carried out while it remained in possession. Lord Sumption (giving the majority judgment) said that “a conditional intention of this kind is not the fixed and settled intention that ground (f) requires.”

For Commercial Property advice, please contact Christopher Sykes, Head of Commercial Property.

Michelle Goodrum