The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Generally, the tenant remains liable for the rent even though the premises have become unusable. Consequently, leases normally contain a provision suspending the rent in the event of damage or destruction. If the clause provides only that the rent is suspended:
service charge payments, and
contributions to the insurance premiums
continue to be payable. A suspension of rent clause is strictly construed. In P&O, the suspension of rent clause applied to 'the rent hereby reserved or a fair proportion thereof'. Neuberger J held that this did not include insurance premiums and service charge payments reserved, even though they were reserved as additional rent.
If the lease is silent, no proviso for the suspension of rent is implied, even where the tenant pays the cost of insurance.
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