Opposing the grant of a new tenancy – when does a landlord need to establish intention to demolish or reconstruct premises?

Written on 12 Feb 2015

We are all familiar with the principle that when a landlord opposes the renewal of a business tenancy on the ground that it intends to demolish or reconstruct the premises, it must prove its intention (and show a reasonable prospect of being able to achieve its intention) when the case is heard. In a recent case, the tenant argued that the changes made by the 2003 Order which says “a notice under this section shall not have effect unless it states whether the landlord is opposed to the grant of a new tenancy” (whereas previous wording used to say “would oppose”) indicates that the intention to demolish or reconstruct must be established at the time the landlord serves the notice, not at the time a case is heard. The Court of Appeal rejected this, affirming that the date on which the landlord must show its intention for the purpose of determining whether a new lease should be granted remains the date of the court hearing and not when the notice was served.