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Court of AppealFriday 14 May 2021

TFS Stores Ltd v Designer Retail Outlet (Mansfield) General Partner Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 688

Judgment was handed down today by the Court of Appeal in TFS Stores Ltd v Designer Retail Outlet (Mansfield) General Partner Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 688. Joanne Wicks QC appeared with Mark Galtrey for the appellant, a fragrance retailer and tenant of six shops in discount outlet centres. The tenant was seeking to challenge a finding by the Judge below that its leases had been successfully contracted out of the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. In particular, it contended that the forms of statutory declaration it had made when entering into the tenancies did not satisfy the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Business Tenancies) (England and Wales) Order 2003 because none of them accurately recorded the date on which the term of the lease commenced. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, holding that the declarations, which gave the commencement of the term either as “a date to be agreed”, “the date on which the tenancy is granted” or which specified the date from which access would be given to the premises under an agreement for lease, were sufficient.

Whilst many landlords of business premises will breathe a sigh of relief that these commonly-used forms of words have been held to be effective to prevent business tenants claiming a new lease, questions still remain about the purpose of this part of the declaration and exactly how Parliament intended it to be completed.

The full judgment can be downloaded here.

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