Business premises – severe disrepair – premises not capable of occupation – liability for business rates

Pall Mall Investments (London) Ltd v Gloucester City Council [2014] EWHC 2247 (Admin) (Pitchford LJ and Mrs Justice Nicola Davies DBE) (8 July 2014)

In our February 2014 issue, Commercial Leases Vol 28 Issue 1 at p 2010, and in our August 2014 issue, Commercial Leases Vol 28 Issue 6 at p 2078 we highlighted several cases in which the key issue was who should bear the liability for business rates. This further case was heard in the summer and we highlight it to raise awareness.

Disputes & Litigation, Disrepair & Dilapidations

Lease to park cars – expiry – creation of an easement to park

R Square Properties Limited v Nissan Motors (GB) Limited [2014] (unreported) (Chancery Division – Stuart Isaacs QC) (13 March 2014)

We mention this case in brief to raise awareness because it may be of significance. We have yet to track down the full transcript of the judgment. If any readers have a copy please pass it on.

Disputes & Litigation, Rights & Easements

Terminal dilapidations – damages

In our June/July issue, Commercial Leases Vol 28 Issue 5 at p2065, we highlighted the Scottish case of L Batley Pet Products Limited v North Lanarkshire Council (Scotland) [2014] UKSC 27 a Supreme Court decision affecting a lease of premises in Scotland. That decision came under the microscope in this case, an appeal heard by Lord Tyre.

Disputes & Litigation, Disrepair & Dilapidations

Leases – rights and reservations granted – implied reservations – right of entry to repair, reroute and lay new gas pipes – nuisance – trespass

Although this case concerns a lease of residential premises the principle issues are of general application to landlord and tenant law. The case arises from a drafting mismatch in rights granted and reservations and emphasises starkly the need for utmost care to ensure that reservations are broadly and clearly expressed.

Leases, Rights & Easements

Shopping Centres – management committees – variations of scheme – variation of leases – landlords approach and landlord’s rights

It is convenient to take these two related Scottish cases together. They tell a cautionary tale that owners and managers of retail parks will wish to take on board.

Leases, Rights & Easements
Hot Topics

Assignment of leases – intra-group transfers – parent company AGAs – void transactions – liability of guarantor

This case concerned ss5 and 24(2) Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 (the Act) and is an important follow on from the decision of Lord Neuberger in K/S Victoria Street (a Danish Partnership) v House of Fraser (Stores Management) Ltd and others [2011] EWCA Civ 904.

Leases, Guarantors

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

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

Signatures on documents – not always needed to create a binding contract or obligation

We mention this case in brief by way of a timely reminder as to the circumstances in which a binding obligation may arise even if there are no formal documents or signatures.

Leases, Agreements

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

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

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

Sale of property – VAT payable – liability for payment

Although this case concerns the sale of a freehold interest in a commercial property we summarise it in brief to raise awareness as the principle involved has equal applications to the sale of leasehold interests. The sale of the property triggered an obligation to pay VAT on the purchase price. The issue for the court was which party was liable to bear the cost of the VAT. This involved the proper construction of the sale agreement.

Disputes & Litigation, Contracts

Sale of property – conditional on planning – long stop date – extension of time – entitlement to specific performance – relief from forfeiture of the deposit

This is another case concerning the sale of a freehold interest but again the issue raised is of general application and will be of particular interest to those of our readers who put together parcels of land with a view to commercial development. The claimant property owner (the seller) sought a declaration that a contract had terminated such that he was free to dispose of the property as he saw fit. The defendant developer (the buyer) counterclaimed for specific performance of the contract and the transfer of the property to itself. In the alternative it claimed relief against forfeiture of the deposit paid.

Disputes & Litigation, Contracts