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Business tenancy renewals and the pandemic (WH Smith v Commerz)

Business tenancy renewals and the pandemic (WH Smith v Commerz)
Published on: 19 April 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Business tenancy renewals and the pandemic (WH Smith v Commerz)
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

Property Disputes analysis: What impact has the pandemic had on the way the courts approach non-contested lease renewals? What view do they take of the suggestion that the new tenancy should contain an effective pandemic rent suspension clause? What approach are the courts taking to the overall impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on rents in the retail market? And what is the relationship between this impact, and the fact that pandemic rent suspension clauses have already become the market norm? Property law practitioners interested in these questions will find this case of considerable interest, because it decides that pandemic rent suspension clauses should be drafted so as to be effective, rather than so narrow they don’t really work; and that, as the presence of such clauses is the new norm, it does not require an upwards adjustment in the rent as compared with pre-coronavirus comparables without such clauses. Written by Greville Healey, barrister at Falcon Chambers and counsel to the claimant in this case. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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