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Landlord and tenant – commercial

Service charges – RICS

The provisions of the RICS Code of Practice on service charges were significantly beefed-up earlier this year (see our March/April 2018 issue, p21).

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Lease renewal – EPC needed?

There has been much publicity given to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, and we have covered them extensively within The Practical Lawyer.

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Insurance – ‘premises’ or ‘building’?

The general rule is that if there is a fire, then L’s insurance will be for the benefit of both L and T.

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CVAs – the basics

CVAs have been in the news: a reminder of basic principles.

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Assignment – from A+B to B?

Suppose A and B are joint tenants of a ‘new’ lease (ie a lease granted since LCTA 1995 came in to force). Can A and B jointly assign the lease to B? Alternatively, can they jointly assign it to B+C? The answer in both instances is almost certainly ‘no’ – even if A enters into an AGA guarantee.

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Lease or licence – the reality?

The traditional legal test for whether there is a lease or a licence is to decide whether or not the occupier has ‘exclusive occupation’. But it is important to remember that it is the reality of the situation – not the label used on the documentation – that decides the issue.

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Licence – no oral modification

A licence of office premises said ‘all variations to this licence must be agreed, set out in writing, and signed on behalf of both parties before they take effect’. The validity of that ‘no oral modification’ clause was upheld by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, T’s argument that L had verbally agreed to alter the schedule of rent payments was dismissed. See the July/August 2018 issue, p20.

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Energy efficiency – reassessment by T?

The Energy Efficiency (MEES) Regs mean it is no longer possible to grant new leases to properties with an EPC of F or G. Moreover, existing lettings of F and G properties will become unlawful from April 2023.

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Obligation to trade – no specific performance

It is well established that a court cannot grant specific performance of a trading covenant (the HL decided the point in Co-op [1997]). Instead, L will have to rely on some other remedy – typically forfeiture plus damages.

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MEES – use a licence?

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard prevents L from granting a lease of commercial premises with an EPC of less than E (see our March/April 2018 issue).

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