Vacant Means Vacant

In the recent case of Riverside Park Ltd v NHS Property Services Ltd 2016, once again the meaning of vacant possession was tested within the context of operating a break clause. The NHS took a ten year lease on open plan office space, with the option of exercising a break clause after 5 years, which they did. On the due date they left in place demountable partitioning that they had installed (referred to as a “rabbit warren”). At termination, the lease conditions obliged the tenant to have removed their alterations and give  vacant possession. The High Court decided that failure continue reading

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High Handed developer gets comeuppance

In Ottercroft Ltd v Scandia Care 2016 the Court of Appeal upheld the County Court decision to grant a mandatory injunction (requiring removal of a newly constructed part of a building) instead of damages. When the defendant started building a new staircase which would interfere with light to kitchen windows in the claimant’s restaurant, the claimant commenced and then stayed proceedings to stop the works because he was offered undertakings from the defendant that his right to light would not be infringed. In the event, the undertakings were ignored. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision, despite the continue reading

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Too gloomy to bath, Scott v Aimiuwu

In the case Scott v Aimiuwu  2015, despite their neighbour’s  previous earnest requests to modify the design the defendants built an extension to their house, which interfered with their neighbour’s right to light. The neighbour sought an injunction, but was awarded damages of approximately £31,500.00 instead. This was the 1st time the question of whether to award damages rather than an injunction for breach of a right to light was aired in court, since the decision in Coventry v Lawrence 2014 (see earlier news item). In determining the appropriate remedy, the judge took the particular facts into account:- The properties were continue reading

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‘candyfloss conservatory’ cost council £25,000.00

In Burge & Anor v South Gloucestershire Council [2016], home owners won £25,000 in compensation from their local council because the roots of an adjacent oak tree (subject to a preservation order), undermined their conservatory. The conservatory had to be demolished and rebuilt The claim was under Section 203 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The council, whose lawyers referred to it as a ‘candyfloss conservatory’ , claimed that because the tree was protected it could not be felled to avoid causing damage and that in any event, the conservatory had been built on inadequate foundations not according continue reading

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Art Is To Be Enjoyed Quietly

In Timothy Taylor V Mayfair House Corporation [2016], a lessee who ran a high quality art gallery in Mayfair succeeded in it’s claim that the landlord was carrying out refurbishment works to the building which were in breach of its lease covenant for quiet enjoyment.  In this respect, the design of the scaffolding, the noise and the failure to inform, consult or compensate the gallery was found to be unreasonable. The gallery had been virtually cocooned by the sheeted scaffold, such that it was all but invisible to passers-by. The lessee said that its potential clients had also been deterred, continue reading

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