David Nicholls has achieved a substantial victory in a relatively rare unopposed claim for a new business tenancy under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. David acted for the successful tenant who was claiming a 10-year new tenancy of shop premises in prime central Newcastle. The principal difference between the parties was the amount of the rent. When proceedings were issued, the tenant proposed a new rent of £160,0000 but the landlord proposed £255,0000, although by the start of trial this had reduced to £200,000.
The case raised questions about valuation principles and their application, almost all of which were resolved in the tenant’s favour following cross-examination of the parties’ respective valuers. The court also had to determine which were the most relevant comparable transactions and how they should be assessed. The court agreed with the tenant that a recent open market letting of a similar-sized property for 10 years that was immediately adjacent to the subject premises provided the best evidence of the likely rental value. As a result, the rent will be markedly closer to the tenant’s proposed new rent than to the landlord’s.