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Publish date

27 April 2023

All change…. is the 1954 Act finally going to be modernised?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 has been the legal framework governing leases and the relationship between landlords and tenants for more than 70 years.  It is primarily known for providing security of tenure to business tenants who have not “contracted out”, by providing a right of renewal at the end of the contractual term. As part of the Government’s Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan (yes you read that right!), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has requested that the Law Commission undertake a review of Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 which contains the security of tenure provisions.

Whilst I for one never expect the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 to appear in the same sentence as Anti-Social Behaviour, the Landlord and Tenant Act has long been thought of as out of date and inflexible and certainly the “contracting out procedure” can cause headaches and time delays for both landlord and tenant. There is no denying that reform would be beneficial to help create a framework to streamline the process.

What is proposed?

The intention is to modernise the legislation to deal with changes in business practice and the market, especially since the financial crisis of 2008 and the Covid-19 pandemic. There is also a push to try and reduce the growing number of vacant properties on the high street and to support smaller business.

The Law Commission has indicated that modernisation will emphasise:

(a) Ensuring legislation is clear, easy to use and beneficial to both landlords and tenants

(b) Creating a widely used framework rather than the current ability to “contract out” of the current legislation

(c) Support the effective use of high streets and town centres

(d) Create legislation which takes into account Government priorities such as “net zero” and “levelling up”

(e) Ensuring it fosters a productive and beneficial commercial leasing relationship between landlords and tenants.

Next Steps

The Law Commission is planning to publish a consultation paper by late 2023, we wait with baited breath to see what proposals are proposed.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please get in touch

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