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RENT INCLUDE THE IMPROVEMENTS MADE ON THE PREMISES

Dictum

✓ Ponsford v. H.M.S. Aerosols (supra). Here there was lease dated August 19, 1968 of factory premises in Barking for 21 years and the revision of rent was to be referred to a surveyor under an arbitration clause where the parties disagree on the revised rent. In 1969, the premises were burnt down and rebuilt out of the proceeds of insurance. The licence for the improvements which were in fact made was contained in a document dated November 14, 1969, where in clause 1 it provided: “The landlords hereby grant unto the tenants licence to execute in and upon the demised premises the several alterations and works indicated in the plan annexed …. It is hereby agreed and declared that all the lessee’s covenants and conditions contained in the lease which are now applicable to the premises demised thereby shall continue to be applicable to the same when and as altered and shall extend to all additions which may be made thereto in the course of such alterations.” The lease of August 19, 1968 indicated, inter alia, that the rent would be assessed “as reasonable rent for the demised premises”. The trial judge. held that a reasonable rent for the premises should be assessed without taking account of the improvements made by the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed on the ground that the judge was wrong in his construction of the rent review clause. On appeal, the Court of Appeal, by a majority of 2:1, reversed the judgment of the trial court and held that the revised rent would include the improvements made on the demised premises.

✓ Cuff v. J. & F. Stone Proper Ltd. (supra) provided that improvement on the land should not be wholly disregarded. Cuffs case is different from the case before us in the sense that the improvements on the land had been made prior to the execution of the lease. Accordingly the improvement, unless expressly excluded, must be taken into account in computing the revised rent. In the instant case there was not improvement on the bare land at the time of the lease, and the subsequent improvement did not form part of the demised premises. Without doubt, the improvements in the Cuff case formed part of the demised premises.

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