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Successful court representation

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Hicks Baker has successfully represented their occupier client at Court in an unopposed lease renewal in which their client sought to maintain the passing rent (last agreed in 2010) whereas the owner sought a 25% uplift.

In her judgement given in the County Court in Oxford, the judge accepted that the market had stagnated in Bicester from evidence of a surplus of similar properties which had not rented within the last 12 months and consequently rejected the owner’s reliance upon two actual lettings from 2015. When taken together with the historic rent review evidence of nearby properties, the judge concluded that the passing rent remained the market rent.

The judge also rejected the owner’s reliance on comparable evidence of self-contained offices as suitable when valuing the ancillary upper parts of the property. To do so would not be to properly value the ‘holding’ as required by s.34 of the Owner and Occupier Act 1954. Therefore, no uplift was justified.

Following the decision the judge awarded the occupier 100% of its costs on the basis that the occupier had been 100% successful and had beaten its without prejudice offers.