It’s tough to catch a break: 2014 is (so far) the year of the landlord

By Anna Ralston

The power is back with the landlords: unless there is an express apportionment clause, it will be difficult for a tenant to argue that it should be entitled to an apportioned refund for rents and other sums paid in advance of, but that relate to the period after, a break date (the broken period).

Break options are well-established and ripe fodder for disputes between landlords and tenants; 2013 was the year of the tenant with two tenant-friendly decisions:

  • First, there was Marks and Spencer v BNP Paribas, where it was held that the landlord did have to repay an apportioned amount of rent and other sums that related to the broken period; and
  • Second, there was Siemens v Friends Life, where it was held that non-compliance with the strict requirements of a break option, in terms of the form of notice, did not render the break notice invalid.

In both cases, 2014 has seen the Court of Appeal weigh in. And weigh-in in favour of the landlord. In the frequently occurring battle of the break option, 2014 is (so far at least) the year of the landlord…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Nabarro briefing.

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