The risks faced by the commercial landlord in carrying out building works
February 8, 2017
Commercial leases will usually contain provisions which allow the landlord to carry out works to the property. It should however be remembered that this is usually subject to the tenant’s right to ‘quiet enjoyment’. Therefore before commencing any works which may affect the tenant’s use of the property, the landlord should always seek legal advice and protect themselves against a potential claim for damages or even an injunction. In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to offer the tenant some form of payment in order to secure the tenant’s agreement. In a recent case the works being carried out had a substantial impact on the tenant’s use and enjoyment of the property and resulted in the closure of the tenants’ business for a period of 4 weeks. This led to the tenant making a claim against the landlord on the grounds that the works were unreasonable and had an adverse effect on his use and enjoyment of the property. The tenant sought an injunction against the landlord preventing further work being carried out and made a claim for damages. The court held that, whilst the tenant was entitled to a reduction in his rent, he was not entitled to an injunction. One of the factors taken into account was that at the time of the trial, the landlord only had 12 weeks of work left to do. Factors taken into account by the court were as follows:
The landlord had failed inform the tenant of the extent and nature of the work to be carried out
The landlord failed to consider how any disruption to the tenant’s business could be kept to a minimum
The work was for the landlord's profit rather than repair and maintenance
The tenant’s use of the premises was a relevant factor
The information contained in this article is intended for general guidance only. It provides useful information but it is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice as the articles do not take into account specific circumstances. So do please Contact US for legal advice on the issues raised.