Where a commercial tenant enjoys security of tenure they have a right to a new lease when their terms ends. This can only be defeated where the landlord proves a statutory right to oppose that new lease.
One such right is where the landlord intends to demolish or develop to such an extent that the tenant has to vacate.
This was such a case. The landlord had all their ducks in a row to prove a genuine intention to develop. And the tenant accepted that the landlord could not do the work while they were there. However, the tenant argued that the inevitable disruption meant that other users of the building could technically stop the works at any time.
Maybe so said the judge. But this was a problem that could be resolved further down the line. It was not enough to defeat the statutory test. Out goes the tenant.
This was only a county court judgement of a preliminary issue. Nevertheless, it is a sensible and important decision and one which, I hope, reflects current judicial thinking. Had it gone the other way, an additional layer would be added to the "ground (f)" test that was never intended by the legislator. Any future development linked to lease end would need to be scrutinised to determine the effect on those whose quiet enjoyment would be disrupted (and who already enjoy legal protection elsewhere). It would weaken its effect and could have a profoundly negative impact on the healthy development of property.
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The intention to carry out the works was established before service of the section 25 notice. Although [T] might seek an injunction and the progress of the works might be hindered by noise nuisance and the reserved rights in [T]s leases, such issues could be resolved.