Commercial premises – acts of nuisance by tenants – claims by neighbours – liability of the landlord

Coventry and others v Lawrence and another [2014] UKSC 13 (26 February 2014) and Coventry and others v Lawrence and another (No.2) [2014] UKSC 46 (23 July 2014)

The first Supreme Court decision created quite a stir in the legal press. It raised two issues. The first was the right approach when a court has to exercise its discretion and consider whether to grant an injunction or award damages where an infringement of a property right has been made out. The second was the extent to which it was possible to establish a right by prescription to commit what would otherwise be a nuisance by noise.

Disputes & Litigation, Reliefs & Remedies

Business lease renewal – negotiations for new tenancy – subject to contract – legal effect

Boots UK Limited v Goldpine Estates Ltd (unreported) (Court of Appeal) (18 June 2014)

The full report on this tantalising case is not yet to hand but brief details have emerged to whet the appetite. We summarise these briefly but will have to return to the case when the full facts are known

Leases, Renewal of Lease

Commercial premises – action for possession – exceptional circumstances to justify proceedings in the High Court

This case serves as a timely reminder that generally all possession actions should be started in the local County Court save in exceptional circumstances.

Disputes & Litigation, Judgments & Orders

Development of airspace – nature and extent of demise of existing leases

Although this case essentially concerns residential premises it raises a point of general application and we summarise it in brief to raise awareness.

Disputes & Litigation, Rights & Easements

Commercial premises – works of conversion by landlord – scaffolding – interference with business tenants – no entitlement to an interlocutory injunction – balance of convenience

In this case there is an appeal to the Court of Appeal outstanding on the question of an interim injunction although it is understood that trail periods have been given for the trial of the substantive issue.

Disputes & Litigation, Reliefs & Remedies
Hot Topics

Liability to pay rent – legal proceedings – settlement - specific performance

This case concerned hotel premises in Sloane Street London SW1 let by the Cadogan Estate to the Claimant (DH). The hotel was operated pursuant to the terms of a management agreement and a licence entered into by DH and the defendant (FH) in 2,000.

Disputes & Litigation, Reliefs & Remedies

Lease of commercial premises – user restrictions – competition law

This case concerns the impact of competition law. The judge was asked to determine a preliminary issue in an unopposed application for a renewal tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (‘the Act’). The issue concerned the user clause of the proposed new lease.

Renewal of Lease, Tenancies

Business lease renewal – opposition to a new tenancy – grounds 30(1)(a), (b) and (c) – alleged breach of covenants

In the case the Court of Appeal was required to consider whether the tenant was entitled to a new lease. The landlord opposed the grant of a new lease on several grounds.

Renewal of Lease, Tenancies

Contract for the sale of land – forged signature – ratification – specific performance

In November 2009 the defendant seller (S) agreed to sell a property to the claimant purchaser (P) for the sum of £155,000.

Sale & Purchase, Sale of Lease

Certificate of practical completion – development project – right to rescind – obligation to complete

The developer vendor (V) agreed to sell and the purchaser agreed to buy former agricultural barns once V had converted them for residential occupation.

Sale & Purchase, Rescission for Breach

Tenant insolvency – landlord’s obligation for empty property rates

In our February 2014 edition, Commercial Leases [2014] Volume 28 Issue 1 at p2020, we summarised a number of recent decisions focussing on what was meant by ‘occupation’ so as to give rise to an obligation on a landlord to discharge business rates on empty property. The issue surfaces again in this case where the tenant became insolvent and the liquidator disclaimed the lease.

Tenancies, Tenant Insolvency

Lease renewal – length of new term – tenant required to take longer term than requested

This interesting decision has just come to my notice. I summarise it briefly for readers because it is topical on the current trend of shorter lease lengths and the modern approach of the courts. This case was an uncontested lease renewal. There were two issues between the parties; length of the new term – tenant proposed five years – landlord proposed 15 years and the amount of the new rent – tenant proposed £37,500 pa and the landlord proposed an initial rent of £182,350 subject to five yearly upwardly only rent reviews. I propose to focus on the lease length issue.

Tenancies, Renewal of Tenancy

Terminal dilapidations – debt or damages

We mention this Scottish appeal case in brief as it raises an interesting issue for English practitioners looking to develop the Jervis v Harris [1996] Ch 195 concept. The case concerns a terminal dilapidations claim for cash in excess of £10 m.

Disputes & Litigation, Disrepair & Dilapidations

Alterations – landlord’s consent – not to be unreasonably withheld – whether fear of a future enfranchisement claim to deprive landlord of the freehold a reasonable ground to withhold consent

We summarise this decision in brief because it is topical in that last year the government amended the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 to allow certain buildings to be converted from B1 office use to C3 residential use without the need for an express grant of planning permission.

Disputes & Litigation