- Break clauses and the definition of vacant possession (Capitol v Global)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Property Disputes analysis: This case considers the purported exercise of a break clause in a commercial lease, where a condition precedent was that vacant possession was given by the tenant. It was common ground between the parties that, unlike in many such contested cases, nothing had been left at the property, rather, items and fixtures had in fact been removed. Such items were numerous and included ceiling tiles, grids and window sills. The judge considered that vacant possession had not been delivered up to the landlord. Instead, the tenant had, in effect, handed back an empty shell of a building which was dysfunctional and unoccupiable. As such, the break clause had not been validly exercised, and a declaration was granted in the terms sought. Written by Georgia Whiting, barrister, 4 King’s Bench Walk.
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