The long-awaited Supreme Court decision as to whether a landlord can succeed under Section 30(1)(f) of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 has decided that in the case of S Franses Limited v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Limited 2018 where the Court unanimously allowed the tenant’s appeal in the much anticipated decision on the meaning of the landlord’s intention. The High Court granted permission to allow the tenant to apply direct to the Supreme Court (by leap-frogging the Court of Appeal).
This appeal turned on the nature of or quality of the intention that Ground (f) required, rather than the landlord’s motive for purpose or on the objective reasonable of its reasonableness of its proposals. On the facts, the landlord did not intend (within the meaning of Ground (f) to carry out the works expressively specified in the scheme of works that it was relying upon in opposition to the Tenants to the Tenants application for a new Tenancy. The landlord in this case had been honest enough to admit what would usually be inferred that is, that the landlord’s intention to carry out the works was conditional. The landlord intends to carry out the works only if it was necessary to get the tenant out and not for example if the tenant left voluntarily or if the Judge was persuaded that the works could be done by exercising the right of entry. The landlord’s purpose and motive was irrelevant, except to test whether such a firm and settled intention existed. The landlord’s motives or purpose may be investigated and at trial as evidence of the genuineness of the landlord’s professional intention. In conclusion the appeal should be allowed. This decision by the Supreme Court gives guidance about how to assess the meaning of the landlord’s intention for the purpose of Ground (f) indicating that the acid test to consider is whether the landlord would intend to do the same works if the tenant left voluntarily.
This Supreme Court decision provides important guidance about how to assess the meaning of the landlords intention for the purposes of Ground (f).
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