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Property case law update: September 2010

Somerfield Stores Ltd v Spring (Sutton Coldfield) Ltd (In Administration) [2010] EWHC 2084

Renewal of Business Tenancies – Objection to Renewal – Intention to Redevelop

T, the tenant under three leases of a supermarket complex, requested new tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.  L, the landlord, opposed the grant of new tenancies on the ground set out in s 30(1)(f) of the 1954 Act, ie that on termination of the current tenancy it intended to redevelop the site. T applied for summary judgment and argued that L had to demonstrate that it had formed a subjective intention to redevelop at the date of the summary judgment hearing.

HELD (on appeal): The date of the hearing at which L must prove the necessary intention is always the date of the substantive trial of the grounds of objection. This included a preliminary issue hearing but not a summary judgment application. When assessing a summary judgment application L only needs to show a real prospect of being able to establish the necessary intention at the substantive hearing.

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council v Elaine Hickin [2010] EWCA Civ 868

Secure Joint Tenancy – Operation of Survivorship

C let a house to W and H under a secure joint tenancy. H and W separated but W continued to reside in the house with her daughter, D. Following W’s death, C served notice to quit on H and issued possession proceedings against D. C said that on W’s death, her interest passed to H by survivorship. It was therefore entitled to possession as H no longer resided in the house. D said that she was entitled to succeed her mother as she was her daughter and the only person residing with her at her death.

HELD (on appeal): On W’s death the tenancy of the house vested in H by operation of the doctrine of survivorship. Since H did not reside in the property, the tenancy ceased to be a secure tenancy and was therefore effectively determined by the notice. D was not entitled to remain in the house once the notice had expired.

Case summaries by Philip Fellows.