Vacant possession strategy for redevelopment
Produced in partnership with Jill Carey of Taylor Wessing LLP
Vacant possession strategy for redevelopment

The following Property Disputes guidance note Produced in partnership with Jill Carey of Taylor Wessing LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Vacant possession strategy for redevelopment
  • Introduction
  • Due diligence
  • Commercial leases—excluded from LTA 1954
  • Commercial leases—LTA 1954 protection
  • Commercial licences and tenancies at will
  • Commercial leases—transformer chambers
  • Commercial leases—advertising hoardings
  • Commercial leases—telecommunications equipment
  • Residential leases—security of tenure
  • more


A site that is ripe for redevelopment can also be laden with different interests, with varying degrees of legal protection. Landlords that are looking to redevelop must consider the nature of any interests, and the mechanisms and timings for terminating them, well before any redevelopment is due to commence.

Due diligence

The first step is to identify all the interests which may be held by third parties over the redevelopment site. Key questions to consider include:

  1. are they commercial, residential or mixed use premises?

  2. is there a written lease or other agreement in place?

  3. what is the length of term and the remaining term?

  4. what is the rent payable, including payment dates, amounts and the name of the paying party?

  5. has the occupier allowed any other party into occupation and, if so, on what basis?

Where the leases have the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954), the landlord can serve a section 40 notice within the last two years of the term to flush out any interests. See Practice Note: Section 40 information requests.

For a Precedent vacant possession strategy schedule which can be used to collate details of all occupiers and the status of their occupation, details of any notices to be served, and details of any proceedings, see Precedent: Vacant possession strategy—schedule.