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Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 - The Basics

27 June 2017

Part II of the 1954 Act is perhaps the most important legislation governing commercial premises. The provisions of Part II of the Act were substantially amended with effect from 1st June 2004 and did away with many of the tactical manoeuvres that were available under the old regime.

This guide sets out the basic principles introduced by the Act (as amended), the procedure that needs to be followed to renew a business lease and the grounds on which a landlord can seek to terminate a tenant’s lease under the Act.

Who gets protected by the Act?

The Act applies to “business tenants’ – i.e. more or less anyone who lawfully occupies premises under a lease for the purposes of their business.

What protection does that Act give?

The Act confers protection known as “security of tenure”.

There are two basic elements to this: (i) the “statutory continuation” of the tenancy and (ii) the tenant’s right to apply to Court for a new lease.

  • Statutory Continuation: Provided the tenant remains in occupation, a protected business tenancy does not automatically terminate on the contractual expiry date (“term date”) but continues on more or less the same terms until renewed or terminated in accordance with the Act .
  • Right to Renew: If the tenant or landlord cannot agree a new lease, either can apply to court to determine the terms. Renewals are divided into “opposed renewals” where the landlord opposes renewal with a view to obtaining possession and “unopposed renewals” where the landlord agrees to the renewal but disputes the terms of the new lease. The landlord can only oppose renewal on certain grounds (see below).

You can read the full PDF version of this article here.

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