A tenant has a statutory right to renew a business tenancy at the end of the term. However, the landlord can oppose renewal if it intends to redevelop the premises, one of the grounds for opposition permitted under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The High Court has provided clear guidance on the timing of the landlord’s intention in Somerfield Stores Ltd v Spring (Sutton Coldfield) Ltd (In Administration) [2010] EWHC 2084 Ch. Here, the court ruled that the landlord’s intention to redevelop only had to be shown at the date of a substantive trial of the landlord’s ground of opposition to the renewal of the tenancy (and not at the date of any summary judgment).

This means that tenants will need to be wary about applying for summary judgment in an effort to force landlords to show intent at an earlier date.

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