By Josephine Willoughby, Partner in the Commerical Property Team.
Two recent landmark Supreme Court decisions will deny tenants of houses the right to enfranchise under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 in circumstances where their premises are used wholly for commercial purposes.
A tenant is required to satisfy two tests: 1) that a property has been "designed or adapted for living in" and 2) is "a house… reasonably so called".
Following the decision in Day v Hosebay Ltd and Howard de Walden Estates Ltd v Lexgorge those tests have become narrower.
If a property is being used wholly for commercial purposes there will be no right to enfranchise. There may still be scope for claims in respect of mixed use buildings since in each of the recent cases the premises were used 100% for commercial purposes.