Security Of Tenure In Commercial And Residential Tenancies

Author:Ms Linda Conway
Profession:Dillon Eustace
 
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1. The Four Equities A commercial or residential tenant will look to the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 (the "1980 Act") and the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994 in asserting his or her rights to renew an existing lease. These acts provide that in order to be entitled to a new tenancy beginning on the termination of the previous tenancy, a tenant must prove the existence of one of the four "equities". 2. Business equity A tenant has a business equity if he or she is in occupation of a business premise used wholly or partly for the purpose of carrying on a business for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to service of notice of intention to claim relief. 3. Long possession equity A tenant has a long possession equity if he or she has been in continuous occupation of business or residential premises for a period of 20 years immediately prior to service of notice of intention to claim relief. 4. Improvements equity A tenant has an improvements equity if improvements have been made on either business or residential premises of which he or she is in occupation and not less than one-half of the letting value of the premises at the time is attributable to those improvements. 5. Rent acts equity Sections 14 and 15 of the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 give certain tenants of both commercial and residential premises, which were decontrolled by the Rent Restriction Acts 1960-1967, rights to a new tenancy. As can be seen, the requirements which residential tenants must meet under the acts if they are to claim the right to renew an existing tenancy, put them in a rather unenviable position as compared to that enjoyed by a commercial tenant, which must only prove five years continuous occupation. 6. Grounds for Refusal to Grant New Tenancy The legislative provisions under which a tenant may lose his/her entitlement to a new tenancy are more likely to impact adversely on residential tenants. Section 17(2) of the 1980 Act outlines the grounds on which a landlord can refuse to grant a new tenancy to which the tenant would otherwise be entitled. These grounds include where the landlord intends or has agreed to pull down or reconstruct the buildings or any part of the buildings, or where the landlord requires vacant possession for the purpose of carrying out a scheme of development. The...

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