Opposing Lease Renewal Under Ground (f) and Ground (g) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954
Thinking of opposing the grant of a renewal lease to a commercial tenant under a lease with security of tenure under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 by using s30(1)(f) or s30(1)(g)?
If you think that you can get away with just telling the tenant that you’re going to be redeveloping your building or that you need the premises back for your own use then think again. You may well need to get your ducks properly lined up before the shooting match.
Ground (f) – Demolition or Reconstruction:
Section 30(1)(f) provides that “…on the termination of the current tenancy the landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the premises comprised in the holding (the part of the premises the tenant occupies for the purpose of its business) or a substantial part of those premises or to carry out substantial work of construction on the holding or part thereof and that he could not reasonably do so without obtaining possession of the building.”
If a landlord opposes the grant of a renewal lease on Ground (f) and makes the tenant aware of its intentions, all is well and good if the tenant is friendly and goes quietly.
However, the tenant can make an application to the Court for a renewal lease and challenge the landlord’s opposition.
To prove intention to the Court the landlord has to do more than just say that it wishes to carry out demolition or reconstruction works. By the date of the hearing, the landlord has to be able to show that it can carry out the intended works and that the intention is real. The landlord’s intention must be established by the time of the hearing at Court for example by showing that it has planning permissions, finance and build contracts in place and that the landlord can begin implementation of its intended works soon.
The landlord must also show that the works fall within the definition of “demolition reconstruction or substantial reconstruction” and that it needs to terminate the tenancy of the holding in order to carry out the works.
Ground (g) – Occupation for own use
Section 30 (1)(g) provides “that on the termination of the current tenancy the landlord intends to occupy the holding for the purposes, or partly for the purposes, of a business to be carried on by him therein, or as his residence.”
A landlord cannot rely on this Ground (g) unless it has been the landlord for at least 5 years before the termination date of the tenancy.
As with Ground (f) the Landlord has to show that its intention is real and firm; and that it will actually be able to occupy the holding for the purposes or partly for the purposes of a business to be carried on by it or as its residence. By the date of the hearing the Landlord must be able to show that it has taken steps to realise its intentions. If planning permission or other permissions are required for the Landlord’s occupation and use of the holding then it must either show that it has the requisite permissions for such use or at least a realistic prospect of obtaining them and realising its intentions.
So if you’re unlucky and the tenant has made an application to the court for a renewal lease then it may not be as straightforward as it seems and as Landlord you may have some work to do in getting your ducks lined up by the date of the hearing.