Commercial Property Law - Essay Example

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Commercial Property Law I. Introduction Individuals are free to enter into agreements provided that the object or cause is not contrary to law, public policy and good morals. The conditions embodied in the agreement define the relationship of the parties, including their rights and obligations…
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Commercial Property Law
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Download file to see previous pages Any conflict between the parties shall be resolved in consonance with the tenor of the contract, the spirit and letter of the relevant laws as well as applying common law principles and judicial interpretation rendered by courts or tribunals on similar issues. The interpretation of the parties’ rights and obligation in contractual relationships vary and oftentimes the interest of one party may cloud its judgment thus it is important that independent minds should offer impartial opinions to aid the parties in making informed decisions. It is in this context that our firm was commissioned by Tomes Limited (Tomes) to evaluate its standing in a leasehold agreement whether its posturing against the landlord is valid. The account was assigned to me for appropriate action. II. Factual Background The leasehold contract over an Old Victorian Townhouse was constituted on 1 April 1997 for a period of twenty five years where rent review shall be made at the end of the 5th, 10th and 15th years of the term provided that such intention is communicated to the tenant within the 5th, 10th and 15th years. The break clause option is available to either party provided that notice shall be given to the other party during the first six months of the 15th year. The leasehold states that the “tenant shall put and keep the premises in tenantable repair to include the decorations, wall-surfaces, window frames, glazing, and casements.” The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 shall be applicable as no effort to exclude its operation was undertaken by the parties. Tomes assumed the lease three years ago and utilizes the demised premises as a book shop—an activity which is not prohibited by the user clause. Its peaceful occupation of the demised properly was interrupted when the landlord demanded that Tomes undertake repair on the cracks in the corners of and right across all the ceilings after a structural inspection revealed that cracking has been caused by flexion of floor joists induced by the load imposed by book shelves. The engineer who conducted the structural investigation concluded that the joists may not have been permanently damaged by the load but nonetheless recommends the installation of steel reinforcement of the joists in the floor voids along with load reduction as the upper floors are not particularly well suited to the demands of book storage. III. The Opposing Views The controversy escalated when the landlord insisted that the reinforcement works as recommended by the engineer should be executed by Tomes pursuant to the repairing covenant and its obligation to repair any damage to the demised premises caused by it. The landlord further argues that without the works, the premises cannot properly be used as a book shop. Tomes disagrees claiming that the repairing covenant covers only cosmetic facade and the installation of steel reinforcement cannot be characterized simply as a cosmetic enhancement but one that requires structural repair. Tomes further refuted the move of the landlord for rent review as the review was not timely initiated within the period specified in the leasehold thus estoppel set in. Tomes suspects that the persistence of the landlord to ascribe fault against it is brought about by his recent acquisition of the controlling share in Volumes Limited (Volumes for brevity), a specialist book-seller which needs new retail premises. It would appear that the landlord wants to get Tomes out of the way to install Volumes in the premises ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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