Hicks Baker has successfully represented their tenant client at Court in an unopposed lease renewal in which their client sought to maintain the passing rent (last agreed in 2010) whereas the landlord 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 landlord’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 landlord’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 Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Therefore, no uplift was justified.
Following the decision the judge awarded the tenant 100% of its costs on the basis that the tenant had been 100% successful and had beaten its without prejudice offers.