What impact will the decision in S Franses v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd have on landlords’ willingness to grant commercial leases protected by the 1954 Act?
Here the tenant, a retailer on Jermyn Street, argued that the landlord’s opposition on development ground (f) should be dismissed because the proposed scheme had been dreamt up by the landlord solely with the intention of removing the tenant. The Supreme Court agreed; particularly as the landlord was forced to admit that if the tenant had willingly left, the works would not have been carried out, or at least not in the same manner. Follow this link to read the Supreme Court’s judgment.
We always warn landlord clients that ground (f) has certain tests to be met, in particular the requirement to have a “firm and settled intention” for the redevelopment to take place. Given the outcome here, the warning will be stronger.
That being the case, it may be the case that only tenants with the strongest covenant will be able to persuade landlords that their leases should have security of tenure.
If you would like to discuss anything raised in this blog please contact me.