Q&As

A garden at a residential property is subject to a lease granted in 1978 to the gas board for gas governor kiosk. The lease contains a provision ‘The tenancy hereby created may be determined by either party giving to the other six months previous notice in writing expiring at any time’. If the owner of the garden exercises the break option, are there statutory powers protecting the gas board (now National Grid/Cadent Gas) that would override this and prevent the garden owner obtaining vacant possession?

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Published on LexisPSL on 08/03/2018

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A garden at a residential property is subject to a lease granted in 1978 to the gas board for gas governor kiosk. The lease contains a provision ‘The tenancy hereby created may be determined by either party giving to the other six months previous notice in writing expiring at any time’. If the owner of the garden exercises the break option, are there statutory powers protecting the gas board (now National Grid/Cadent Gas) that would override this and prevent the garden owner obtaining vacant possession?

The statutory powers of gas providers are governed by the Gas Act 1986 (GA 1986) which was enacted after the lease in question here.

If the successor to the gas board is a ‘gas transporter’ within the definition set out in the statute, then it may be authorised by the Secretary of State (after consultation with the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority) to compulsorily purchase any land, including any right over land. The creation of new rights over land may also be authorised. This means that it is possible for a gas transporter to use compulsory purchase powers as a method to resist attempts by the landowner to have the transporter remove apparatus from land. In other words, even if the owner of the garden can break the lease, this may not mean much in practice if the gas company can exercise powers of compulsory purchase.

‘Gas transporters’ are defined in GA 1986, s 7 as follows:

‘[(1) In this Part “[gas transporter]” means the holder of a licence under this section except where the holder is acting otherwise than for purposes connected with—

(a) the carrying on of activities authorised by the licence

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