Many will remember a few years ago that the Government announced a consultation in relation to reforming the LTA 1954.   It is a fundamental regulatory tool in the context of business leasing and underpins commercial leases in England and Wales.   Reform is well overdue but as it reaches its 70th birthday some are concerned it has been kicked into the long grass.

It was introduced after the Second World War and sets out a legal framework to govern the relationship between landlord and tenants in commercial premises.   

It has survived multiple government, recessions and a global pandemic but there is a  view that it is not working well for landlords or tenants.    There was a slight change in the early 2000's where the old process of having to get a court order to “exclude security of tenure” was replaced with a simpler process of notices and declarations but little significant changes have occurred since.

Some would argue that this is not surprising given that the Law of Property Act 1925 (the main statute that underpins English and Welsh property law) will be 100 years old next year and that has not changed that much either!

However, on a positive note, the Law Commission have now agreed the following terms of reference to review the 1954 Act:

  • creating a legal framework that is widely used rather than opted out of, without limiting the rights of parties to reach their own agreements, by making sure legislation is clear, easy to use, and beneficial to landlords and tenants; 
  • supporting the efficient use of space in high streets and town centres, now and in future, by making sure current legislation is fit for today’s commercial market, taking into account other legislative frameworks and wider government priorities, such as the “net zero” and “levelling up” agendas; and
  • fostering a productive and beneficial commercial leasing relationship between landlords and tenants

With the publication of the Law Commission Consultation paper expected in the Autumn of 2024 we await to see what it proposes and whether it will change the 70 years that preceded it.

Pending that however, happy birthday!