The local Air Cadets occupy land and buildings to the south-east of the redeveloped airfield under a standard business tenancy. They use a number of huts (erected around 1990) and two Portakabins (sited around 1995) for their training activities. There is also a shed, built of stone, that was erected when the airfield was an operational wartime base and used as a resting room for pilots awaiting their ‘scramble’ call. The Air Cadets as an organisation, in their various forms, have held a lease on this area of the airfield since 1959. Specific clauses in the lease state:
• ‘the use of premises on the land shall be as Headquarters for an ATC Wing provided that there is no nuisance or annoyance caused by such use’;
• ‘the tenants must repair and keep in repair the stone shed, any additional buildings, and all hedges, ditches, fences and gates on the demised premises’;
• ‘on termination of the tenancy, the tenants shall remove all building and other erections and works so as to restore the land to the condition in which it was when it was taken over.’
The Air Cadets have been holding over since 2018 when the contractual terms came to an end. They have continued to pay rent to the MoD and, more recently, to Airside Developers Ltd. and have now applied to Airside Developers Ltd. (as their landlords) for a new lease. The landlord is opposing the grant of the new tenancy and is relying on Section 30(1)(f) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, stating that they wish to demolish the existing buildings and to clear the land so need full possession.
The landlord is not claiming that they will reconstruct any of the premises or that they will carry out further construction work. The Air Cadets assert that the existing buildings on the land are tenant fixtures and so cannot be demolished by the landlords, However, the landlord asserts that the existing buildings are fixtures and as such are part of the land and can be demolished.
Critically assess the scenario above, and using your current knowledge of property law, write an essay to advise the Air Cadets on:
a. whether the huts, and Portakabins are tenant’s or landlord’s fixtures?
b. the extent to which Airside Developments are likely to have satisfied Section 30(1)(f) of the Act and the potential consequences for the Air Cadets as tenant.
LO1 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the principles of property law and the underlying system of land ownership in England and Wales with consideration of Scottish Law differences.
LO2 Articulate the features and impact of common law and statutory provisions.
LO3 Evaluate and articulate the function and effect of leasehold ownership, the legal relationship between landlord and tenant, third party rights, covenants and contracts for the sale of land.
LO4 Undertake critical analysis of information, draw logical conclusions based on legal principles and communicate arguments and analysis and effectively, using relevant legal terminology