A bloody battlefield: Commercial lease renewals are becoming more contentious in the UK
It is a rare occasion that an unopposed lease renewal under the UK’s Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954) reaches trial. This may become a more regular occurrence, however, as UK landlords and tenants appear to be finding it more difficult than usual to agree terms for new leases against a backdrop of uncertainty in the current climate, which is significantly affecting the market for lettings.
As has been widely documented, the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the commercial property market in the UK, particularly in retail and office sectors. A lack of footfall in shopping centres and inner-city areas is largely to blame for this, along with changing working practices and flexible working schemes being adopted by many tenant companies.
The crisis has unquestionably had a negative impact upon the demand for prime commercial space. This has, in part, led to rent negotiations for new leases and lease renewals becoming a horse trade, with institutional landlord