The recent case of Timothy Taylor vs Mayfair House will create Case Law to be utilised in the future. This is what a Tenant needs to know:
1) Every time a Landlord modernises or refurbishes a building, with a Tenant in place, or even arguably where he erects scaffolding in front of a retailer, there could be grounds for the Tenant to receive a rent discount. Timothy Taylor achieved a 20% reduction from the day scaffolding went up, to the day it came down.
2) The Standard Form of Lease offers a Tenant peaceful and quiet enjoyment, and it seems contradictory that a Landlord can carry out major refurbishment works on the building, without potentially, being in breach of this Covenant.
3) If your Landlord is undertaking refurbishment works whilst you are in occupation, you should approach him, or his representative, and, dependent on the extent of the works, ask for a rent reduction for the duration of the works, using the Timothy Taylor case, as the foundation for possible compensation.
4) If you are looking to take offices you should try and assess what works the Landlord may carry out during the term of the Lease. Check and try and agree the tightest provisions of the quiet enjoyment clause, to ensure you are covered for any future disturbance, and protected against the Landlord riding roughshod over you.
5) Beware the Tenant who takes a building with air space that the Landlord could redevelop to create new space. Noise, vibration, dust, and restricted access can all play a part in disrupting your business, and impacting on your bottom line, let alone, perhaps, making the premises unlettable for the duration.
Perhaps the moral of the story is to seek top Professional advice both from your Agent and Lawyer.