Lawbite: when a business tenancy ‘ought not’ to be renewed

Youssefi v Mussellwhite [2014] EWCA Civ 885 and Horne & Meredith Properties Ltd v Cox [2014] All ER (D) 194 concern opposition to lease renewals on the grounds of the tenant’s breach of covenant (‘grounds (a), (b) and (c)’ under section 30(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954).

The Horne case demonstrated that a landlord relying upon ground (c) (‘other substantial breaches of the tenancy or any other reason connected with the tenant’s use or management of the holding’) does not always have to demonstrate that the tenant has breached its covenants, so long as there is a sufficiently compelling ‘other reason’. In Horne, it was a history of the tenant harassing the landlord with vexatious litigation over a prolonged period.

In Youssefi, the landlord opposed the grant of a renewal lease on three grounds: breach of repair and maintenance obligations — ground (a); persistent delay in paying rent — ground (b); and other substantial breaches of the tenancy or any other reason connected with the tenant’s use or management of the holding — ground (c)…

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