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Landlord & tenant - refund of rent to tenant on break date?

A recent Court of Appeal case (Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited and another [2014] EWCA Civ 603) has highlighted the importance of tenants instructing experienced lawyers to negotiate and advise on lease terms.

The tenant, Marks and Spencer, exercised a break clause to terminate its lease and sought a refund of rent it had paid in advance, which related to a period after the break date. The High Court had decided that Marks and Spencer was entitled to the refund, despite the fact that the lease did not contain an express provision to that effect. However, the Court of Appeal overturned this decision and ruled that it was not appropriate to imply a term into the lease in these circumstances. In the absence of an express provision, a tenant will therefore not be entitled to a refund of any rent paid that relates to the period after a break date.

For more information on break clauses and negotiating leases please contact Annie Scrimshaw.