Grounds for Landlords to oppose renewal

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CMS Cameron McKenna reports on the recent decision in Youssefi -v- Musselwhite [2014] EWCA Civ 885 which provides useful guidance for landlords when looking to oppose the grant of a new lease on the ground of substantial breaches by the tenant of its obligations under the current tenancy or for any reason connected with the tenant’s use or management of the holding.

This case demonstrates that, while there is a high bar to be satisfied for landlords to show that the tenant ought not to be granted a new tenancy as a result of their failure to comply with their repairing obligations, landlords may be able to benefit from a broad approach taken by the Court in relation to substantial breaches of the current tenancy. The Courts will look at prejudice to the landlord without requiring the landlord to show a quantifiable loss.
The case concerned a lease of a dwelling house shop and premises. The landlord opposed the grant of a new lease on the following grounds:

Ground A – the tenant had failed to comply with her repairing obligations under the lease by failing to control the plant growth at the rear of the property (Section 30(1)(a) LTA 1954).

Ground B – the tenant had persistently delayed in paying rent (Section 30(1)(b) LTA 1954).
Ground C – there were substantial breaches by the tenant of her obligations under the current tenancy and other reasons connected with the tenant’s use or management of the holding (Section 30(1)(c) LTA 1954).

Full details can be found by following the CMS Cameron McKenna Law-now link


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