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Knowing MEES, knowing you

Charlotte Ross discusses breaches of competition law by local authorities, energy efficiency regulations for commercial properties as well as leases and assignment

4 November 2014

In the case of Martins Retail Group Ltd v Crawley Borough Council [2014], the court considered whether the landlord’s proposal for a user clause in a lease renewal contravened the Competition Act 1998.

The case concerned a retail unit on a parade of shops in Crawley, occupied by the tenant operating as a newsagent. The parade had been run by the council under a letting scheme since 1947.

The council’s objective was to have a range of different traders available to local residents, and it sought to achieve this tenant mix by restricting the user of each unit to a particular trade or business.

On renewal of its lease, the tenant sought a user clause which permitted the sale of items including alcohol and convenience goods. The landlord re...

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