This is an important case because it adds further commentary on the nature of the intention a landlord requires to meet the requirements necessary to oppose the grant of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The decision is arguably more analogous with how Parliament intended the statutory provisions be interpreted to protect tenants' business occupation.

On the face of it, this is good news for tenants because the Supreme Court has confirmed that a landlord cannot create a scheme of works simply to oppose the tenant's request for a new lease or to kick the tenant out.

This decision is unusual because of how the landlord framed its evidence of its intention to redevelop. The effect of this decision is therefore likely to be limited within the sphere of business lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. However, whether this opens up a wider analysis of what "intention" means at law will remain to be seen. There is an erosion of certainty in favour of flexibility. In business lease renewal context, landlords will have to continue (if required) to come up with more creative explanations for the reason they want to undertake a scheme of works (in circumstances where their sole objective is to obtain vacant possession). This will not be easy – the question to ask is whether the landlord would have carried out the same works had the tenant voluntarily vacated. If the answer is "no", then the landlord is unlikely to demonstrate the requisite intention for the purposes of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

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