An English case,Timothy Taylor Ltd v Mayfair House
Corporation & Anr  EWHC 1075 (Ch) gives guidance on
landlord works and how these can be reconciled with a
landlord's obligation to respect the quiet enjoyment
entitlement of its tenant.
Whilst not binding on the Royal Court in Jersey, the decision
may be persuasive.
In this case, Timothy Taylor Limited (the
Tenant) held a 20 year lease of the ground and
basement floors of a multi-story building in Mayfair, from which it
ran a high-end art gallery. In 2013 Mayfair House Corporation (the
Landlord) started a major redevelopment of the
retained upper floors involving the erection of scaffolding around
the entire building (including across the front of the Tenant's
art gallery) which generated high levels of noise for extended
periods of time.
The Tenant argued that the manner in which the Landlord carried
out the works breached the covenant in the Lease entitling it to
quiet enjoyment of its premises and that the Landlord had failed to
inform (and in some cases had misled) the Tenant about the nature
and impact of the works.
The High Court Judge noted the conflict between the
Landlord's rights under the Lease to alter, raise the height of
or rebuild the building and its obligation under the Lease to grant
the Tenant quiet enjoyment. It was held that the Landlord's
right to undertake the works was impacted by the Tenant's right
to quiet enjoyment and that the Landlord ought to have taken
"all reasonable steps" to minimise disturbance to the
Tenant, which it had not done in this case.
Notwithstanding that the Tenant could not prove any loss arising
from the breach, damages in the sum of 20% of rental were awarded
in lieu of an injunction, for the duration of the works. An
injunction was found to be disproportionate and unworkable.
The Court decision contains useful guidance on matters a
Landlord should take into account when undertaking works.
Key considerations for Landlords:
Landlords should take into account the fact that the exercise
of rights under a Lease should take the tenant's rights into
In order to minimise the possibility of a conflict arising a
landlord seeking to carry out works (even where there is an express
liaise with its tenant in advance, proving full details of the
nature and extent of the works;
take into account the nature of the tenant's use of the
aim to agree a method by which the impact of the works will be
ensure those supervising the works comply with any agreement
reached with the tenant;
provide the tenant with progress updates on the works; and
consider offering a reduced rent for the duration of the works
where major distribution will be caused.
It is also worth a Landlord checking whether the lease contains
a rent cesser clause allowing for a reduction of rent where
premises are unfit for use. Some such clauses also apply to the
means of access to premises.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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