Dawn Reynolds Archive

Business Rates: Good news for developers

On 1 March, the Supreme Court overturned the previous judgment by the Court of Appeal in the case of Newbigin v Monk. This will be welcome news to developers who are either in the process of redeveloping, or who have recently redeveloped, an office building which was not capable of occupation.

Partnership Dispute and Property Interests – Section 41A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954

The recent case, Lie v Mohile [2014] EWCA Civ 728 concerned two doctors in general practice who had provided medical services as partners under a partnership agreement. The partnership business was run from premises owned by one of the doctors, Dr Mohile and he had granted a periodic tenancy to himself and to the other doctor, Dr Lie, as joint tenants.

What replaces a business lease if no formal replacement is negotiated?

Business leases on premises such as high street branches may be contracted out of the protection afforded by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. When these leases come to an end, the tenant has no statutory right to be granted a new tenancy. This article looks at what might replace the lease where a business stays in occupation informally and the consequences on any later termination.

Welcome news for landlords with insolvent tenants

A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal will come as welcome relief to landlords who, confronted with difficult trading conditions over the past few years, have faced a double whammy in the event of a tenant becoming insolvent. Not only do they lose a tenant but also, if a tenant went into administration before the next quarter’s rent was due, any outstanding rent was treated as an unsecured debt rather than as an administrator’s expense. However, the Court of Appeal has recently ruled that rent owed while a tenant is in administration, and whose premises are occupied for the purposes of that administration, should be treated as an administration expense.

PGF II SA-v-OMFS Company 1 Limited

The Court of Appeal sends a clear and important message to all parties to litigation that they must seriously engage in seeking to settle their dispute or otherwise face severe costs sanctions. This is a dilapidations case in which the landlord issued proceedings against the tenant for damages in excess of £1.9 million in relation to the tenant’s breach of the repairing obligation in respect of 3 office floors let at 33 Lombard Street, London.

Lease renewals – The Jackson Reforms

On 1 April 2013, significant changes to the rules governing civil litigation were introduced. These changes are known as the Jackson reforms and their purpose is to make the costs of civil litigation more proportionate to the issues in dispute. However, it is not the case that “one change fits all” and this is particularly the case for business lease renewals.

Clarity and guidance on lease guarantees

K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Ltd and others [2011] (the ‘Victoria case’), decided in the Court of Appeal in July 2011, was heralded as the long awaited case to bring certainty to an uncertain area of landlord and tenant law. In our view, the Victoria case has achieved this by determining the validity of agreements that require an outgoing tenant’s guarantor to guarantee the performance of the incoming tenant. Perhaps of more significance, is the opinion of the Master of the Rolls on a workable alternative.
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