Entries invited for the 2020 PLA Essay Competition – cash prize and publication in the Estates Gazette!




The 2020 Memorial Essay Competition has now been launched and we welcome submissions from PLA members on the below question.


All change at the Cavendish Hotel?

Lord Sumption’s acid test to be applied in cases involving the landlord’s intention to conduct works at the demised premises in ground (f) of s30(1) of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act, 1954 in S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd [2018] UKSC 62 is “whether the landlord would intend to do the same works if the tenant left voluntarily”. Looking at this test, Lord Briggs said that where it is alleged that the landlord would carry out some lesser scheme if the tenant left voluntarily, which such lesser scheme would not be sufficient to defeat the tenant’s application for a new tenancy, it “will probably give rise to factual questions of some nicety, incapable of resolution by the proffer of a simple undertaking to the court, as happens at present. This may introduce an element of complexity and expense into proceedings in the County Court which, for many years, have yielded to a simple technique for speedy resolution. But I can see no other way of giving effect to what seems to me always to have been the plain intention of Parliament, that a tenant’s statutory right to a new tenancy should not be circumvented by proposed works which, viewed as a whole, would not have been undertaken by the landlord if the tenant had left voluntarily”.

What effect is the ruling having/will have on landlords who are planning to redevelop in the future and will tenants automatically allege that the landlord would carry out some lesser scheme if the tenant were to leave voluntarily even if it raises an element of complexity and expense into the County Court proceedings as envisaged by Lord Briggs?

The essay must be no more than 1,500 (one thousand five hundred) words in length.
Competitors must state on the front of their essay submission their name, address and email address.

The Competition is open to all current members of the PLA, with the exception of Honorary, Retired or Academic members, or any current members of the Executive Committee or Law Reform Committee.

All submissions must be sent by email to essaycomp@pla.org.uk to be received no later than 5pm on 31 January 2020.  We recommend that you set an ’email read’ receipt to ensure that your submission has been received.

There will be a prize in the form of a cheque for £1,000 for the winning entry and a trophy. In addition, the winner will be entitled to use the designation ‘Recipient of the Alan Langleben Memorial Essay Prize’. The winning essay will also be published in the Estates Gazette. The winner will be announced at the PLA’s Annual Conference in March.

To read the Terms and Conditions for the 2020 essay competition click here.

Bryan Johnston
Property Litigation Association