Lease break rent refunds
STOP PRESS: the High Court has ruled that a tenant may recover rent paid in advance when a break option has been exercised. This is not what is normally expected as Alexandra Holloway explains.
Unexpectedly a High Court case decided on 16 May – Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services – has allowed a tenant (Marks and Spencer) breaking its lease to recover the part of the rent that it had paid for the remainder of the rent quarter after its break date, even though the lease did not provide for that.
This is contrary to previous decisions, and the first case in which a tenant has successfully obtained reimbursement of rent referable to the period after the break date where the lease did not expressly provide for this. The decision may well be appealed but, unless and until it is, the case potentially affords tenants greater scope than before to seek reimbursement in such situations. A more detailed update will follow shortly.