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Reinstatement of alterations can be very contentious. Landlords may be left with a property in an unlettable state or tenants may find that they are called upon to undertake reinstatement works, which could take months, at the eleventh hour.
If there is no obligation to reinstate the demised premises, a lawful alteration becomes part of the premises. The tenant cannot be made to reinstate. It must yield up the premises with the alterations, though it has a right to remove any tenant’s fixtures up until the last minute of the term.
See Practice Note Fixtures and fittings.
In Peel, the Court of Appeal confirmed that while a tenant is, in principle, entitled to remove any tenant's fixtures, such right can be modified or excluded by the terms of the lease. If a tenant's prima facie right to remove tenant's fixtures is to be ousted, the language of the lease must make that clear.
However, there is no rule of law that especially clear words must be used in a lease for a tenant's right to remove fixtures at any point during the term to be validly ousted. There is no proscribed language – it is a question of construction in each case. If it is not clear whether the parties intended to oust the tenant’s right (eg the lease is
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