S Franses Limited (Appellant) v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd (Respondent)
The Supreme Court finds that the landlords intention to redevelopment was not genuine and that the tenant was entitled to a new business lease pursuant the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the Act”).
The Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the case of S Franses Limited v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd on 5 December 2018: http://bit.ly/2QCjT2p
The question in this case was whether the landlord would have carried out any redevelopment if the tenant has voluntarily vacated the premises. The answer was it would not and the redevelopment was designed purely to get the tenant out. In this case, the landlord has admitted as much.
The intended design was clearly something that was unworkable but was designed to overcome the requirements of the Act.
This is probably not the first time that a landlord of commercial premises which has a business tenant in occupation under a tenancy which has the protection of the Act has come up with a plan that is sufficient to bypass the requirements of the Act and successfully object to a new lease being granted. Whether they would have come up with a less elaborate plan if a tenant had voluntarily vacated or was not protected under the Act, is a different question. It all comes down to the evidence available. Perhaps this case will encourage tenants to question the landlords intentions more often and seek disclosure of more information before simply accepting what landlords tell them.