Monthly Archives: July 2013

“Non compliant” Tenant break notice worked!

 

News

Siemens Hearing Instruments Ltd v Friends Life Ltd (2013) was a High Court Decision that contradicted the orthodoxy that a Tenant’s break right in a lease is an option clause and (as such) must be adhered to strictly.  The clause said the notice must be expressed to be given under Section 24(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and it wasn’t.

That requirement was an old one designed to stop tenants coupling a break with a statutory request for a new tenancy to secure a reduced rent for the same premises in a falling market.

The Court ruled that the break clause’s draftsman should have spelt out the consequences of non compliance with the condition if they were intended to be fatal.  Since he had not the Court felt it was left to it to decide the result of non compliance and it decided that it was not fatal to the Tenant’s break notice being effective.

The case offers hope to Tenants but should not be treated as a “get out of jail card” for any failure to comply with drafting requirements when it comes to preparing break notices.  Tenants should not drop their guard and should make sure they comply with all the conditions. .

 

clause expressly provided that the break notice “must be expressed to be given under Section 24 (2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954”. – See more at: http://www.bonddickinson.com/insight/publications/tenants-given-another-break#sthash.I0FY0DDM.dpuf
clause expressly provided that the break notice “must be expressed to be given under Section 24 (2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954”. – See more at: http://www.bonddickinson.com/insight/publications/tenants-given-another-break#sthash.I0FY0DDM.dpuf

Planning Permissions to “Firm Up” Earlier

From 1 July 2013  the  time limit for bringing judicial review proceedings against England & Wales’ local authority planning permissions was reduced from three months to six weeks.  So land contracts being drawn up to be conditional on planning can now become unconditional much sooner.

So anyone thinking of legally challenging a planning permission must  act very quickly:

Claimants won’t be allowed a hearing in person if a judge rules  their initial written application “totally without merit”.  And even if they are allowed that hearing  they will now have to pay a £215 court fee.  It used to be £60.

Tenant refunds under break clauses?

In a recent case the court implied into a break clause a term which entitled the tenant to a refund.

Hitherto the balance of opinion was that a tenant was not entitled to a refund unless it was covered by an express term.

This makes no difference to the legal position that the tenant must pay the lease payments in full on each payment date preceding or on the break date and apply for a refund of the unused portion after that date.