Law Commission announces a review of the “decades-old” Landlord and Tenant Act 1954

The Law Commission announced on 28 March 2023 that it will review Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 with an aim to modernise commercial leasehold legislation. Here, Davina Mordanti looks at what the review means and what changes can be expected.

On the 28th March 2023, The Law Commission announced the review of Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The Law Commission hopes that by reviewing the act they can modernise commercial leasehold legislation. But what changes can be made and what will the emphasis be on in the review?

  • creating a legal framework that is widely used rather than opted out of, without limiting the rights of parties to reach their own agreements, by making sure legislation is clear, easy to use, and beneficial to landlords and tenants;
  • supporting the efficient use of space in high streets and town centres, now and in future, by making sure current legislation is fit for today’s commercial market, taking into account other legislative frameworks and wider government priorities, such as the “net zero” and “levelling up” agendas; and
  • fostering a productive and beneficial commercial leasing relationship between landlords and tenants.

Under the Act, tenants currently have a statutory right to renew their commercial lease at the end of the contractual term (known as “security of tenure”) unless both parties agree that the right to renew shall not apply prior to the lease being granted.

Given 20 years has passed since the last significant updates were made, it is fair to say this review has been long-awaited. The Law Commission is aware that the Act is not favourable to landlords or tenants and aspects of the law are “burdensome, unclear and out-of-date”.

As there is an intended focus on protection rather than exclusion, we are intrigued to see how the proposals will provide a “framework that is widely used rather than opted out of” without “limiting the rights of parties”.

We will provide further updates in due course as we expect further announcements from the Law Commission followed by the publishing of its consultation paper by the end of the year.

This article is not provided as advice and should not be relied upon as such. Should you require legal advice from our corporate team, email us at 

By Davina Mordanti