Is the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 now dead?
Thursday 6 July 2017
6.30pm - 7.30pm followed by drinks and canapés
The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane,
S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited  EWHC 1670 (QB)
– Is the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 now dead?
On 3 July 2017 Jay J handed down judgment in an appeal from the County Court at Central London in a ground (f) case which raises fascinating issues about a landlord’s ability to circumvent the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and deprive the tenant of its security of tenure.
The landlord had devised a package of works with its lawyers, expressly with a view to achieving ground (f). Elements of the scheme were entirely artificial and had no practical or economic purpose, and the end result would be the creation of a space which could not lawfully, on planning grounds, be used by anybody. The County Court judge found that the scheme “had been designed with the material intention of undertaking works that would lead to the eviction of the tenant regardless of the works’ commercial or practical utility and irrespective of the expense”. Nevertheless, being “prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the Tenant out”, the landlord offered an undertaking that it would carry out the scheme, at a cost of over £700,000.
Despite the obvious artificiality of the works, the landlord succeeded. The tenant argued that this undermined the policy of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, which is to give business tenants real and substantial security of tenure. If a landlord can devise a package of works with its lawyers, give an undertaking to carry them out, succeed in evicting the tenant and then simply reverse the works afterwards, the Act is dead.
But the County Court said, and the Queen Bench Division agreed, that this argument could not succeed, in particular given the cases about the landlord’s motives for the work being irrelevant under ground (f).
Where does this leave the 1954 Act? Joanne Wicks QC (who appeared for the tenant) and Martin Hutchings QC will give a concise explanation of the case and the points in it of general importance to property litigators.
Date: Thursday 6 July 2017
Time: 6.30pm – 7.30pm (arrival drinks and registration from 6.00pm)
Venue: The Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL
Booking: see link below
Further information: firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7306 0102
There is no charge to attend this seminar