Home Information Cases Aberdeen Steak Houses v Crown Estate Commissioners (1997)

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Aberdeen Steak Houses v Crown Estate Commissioners (1997)

Summary

As to whether a notice determining a commercial lease was valid and complied with both the terms of a break clause in a lease and s.25 Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Facts

On 22/5/96 Lightman J directed trial of the following issues: (1) Was a notice to determine a commercial lease valid both for the purposes of a break clause in the lease and s.25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954? (2) Were the Commissioners entitled to oppose the plaintiff/tenant's application for a new lease under s.30(1)(f) of the Act? (3) Was the letter of 4/4/95 under cover of which the notice was served itself a valid notice to determine the lease pursuant to the break clause? The break clause in the lease provided that if the landlord desired to demolish or reconstruct the building or a substantial part thereof on or after 10/10/95 or 2000 or 2005 and gave the tenant six months previous notice in writing, then on the expiration of the notice the lease would determine.

Held

(1) The covering letter taken in conjunction with the s.25 notice operated as both an effective break notice as well as a good statutory notice under the 1954 Act. (2) The court was satisfied that the landlord had the requisite intention to carry out the works to the demised premises for the purposes of s.30(1)(f). The landlord also proved that there was a real chance of the works being carried out. This intention was proved at the date of the hearing. The court was also satisfied that it would not be possible to carry on the works without vacant possession of the demised premises. The possible stumbling block as to the highway authority's requirement for a coach lay-by appeared, from the most recent developments, likely to be overcome. The court accordingly concluded that the relief claimed by the plaintiff should be refused and that the claim be dismissed. In view of its findings of fact the court considered it was not strictly necessary to deal with the issue as to opposing the tenant's application for a new lease since it was self- evident that a new lease would not in the circumstances be granted.

Court of Appeal
Anthony Grabiner QC
Judgment date
7 February 1997
References

LTL 11/2/97 : [1997] 2 EGLR 107 : [1997] 31 EG 101 : [1997] EG 14 (CS) : [1997] NPC 12

Practice areas