Defending against an application for re-entry to commercial premises

Dean acted for the landlord in an application for re-entry into commercial premises; his client having previously re-entered the property and changed the locks.

The matter was complicated by the fact that there had been a lease agreed by the parties in 2004 and a subsequent purported lease, the terms of which had been recorded in the form of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, both documents having seemingly been drafted without the benefit of competent legal advice. The court therefore had to decide which of the documents governed the tenant’s occupation of the premises.

Having determined that the 2004 lease remained in force, the court was tasked with determining whether the landlord had satisfied the test for re-entry, the main factor being whether the applicable clause within the lease was sufficiently clear, unambiguous and intelligible as required by the relevant caselaw. Following lengthy submissions and deliberations the Judge was able to determine that the clause was effective and that the landlord had acted lawfully in re-entering the premises, as such the tenant’s application was dismissed.