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Most commercial tenants will know that they have a right to apply for new tenancies at the end their leases. However, many will be ignorant of the fact that their security of tenure can be undermined if their landlord plans to demolish and reconstruct the buildings they occupy.
The tenant of two light industrial units had applied for a new tenancy towards the end of his lease. However, his landlord successfully argued that he intended to demolish and reconstruct the premises and that, by operation of Section 30(1)(f) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, the tenant had no right to a renewal.
In dismissing the tenant’s challenge, the Court of Appeal found that the relevant date for ascertainment of the landlord’s intention was the date on which the case came to court. The tenant’s plea that the relevant date was that on which he was served with notice to terminate was arguable, but did not accord with authority.