The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 provides protection for both landlords and tenants when dealing with lease renewal rights. However, AT WHAT POINT does a landlord of commercial property need to prove his intention to redevelop in order to successfully oppose the renewal of a '54 Act protected lease? Legal experts Taylor Wessing outline a recent case which seeks to deal with this point;
Hough v Greathall Ltd  EWCA Civ 23
Where a landlord wishes to redevelop a property but the tenant also has statutory rights entitling it to a new tenancy, the landlord must prove its intention to redevelop to the satisfaction of the Court. One of the key questions is when the landlord needs to prove this intention. Is it at the date that the landlord gives first notice of its intention or at the date of the Court hearing?
This question has recently come before the Court of Appeal, which upheld a County Court decision to terminate a business tenancy that enjoyed security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ("the Act"). The tenant tried to argue that, following changes to the wording of the Act made in 2004, the landlord had to be able to prove its intention at the date it served the notice. However, the Court of Appeal disagreed, and upheld the original decision to confirm that the key date is indeed the date of the hearing, not the date of the notice. This confirmation is important for landlords and tenants alike.
More detail of this case can be found online