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Civil Defence Act 1939

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

19Provisions as to commercial buildings when owner does not occupy the whole building

(1)Where works are, by virtue of this Part of this Act, executed by the owner of a commercial building in any part thereof of which he is not the occupier, the occupier of that part of the building shall be entitled to recover from the owner compensation for any damage he has sustained by reason of any interference with his use of that part of the building during the execution of the works. Any such compensation shall be charged on the estate or interest of the owner in the building, and any such charge shall have priority over all other encumbrances on that estate or interest, except charges arising under any enactment authorising a charge for the recovery of expenses incurred by a local authority and charges created under any enactment authorising advances of public money, and may be registered under section ten of the Land Charges Act, 1925, as a land charge of Class A, and the person in whose favour the charge is created shall, for the purpose of enforcing it, have the same powers and remedies under the Law of Property Act, 1925, and otherwise, as he would have if he were a mortgagee by deed having powers of sale and lease and of appointing a receiver.

(2)Where the usefulness of any part of a commercial building is impaired by reason of the execution therein of any works by virtue of this Part of this Act by the owner of the building, then, unless it is otherwise agreed in connection with, or after, the provision of the shelter, the rent payable under every lease derived from the estate or interest of the owner, being a lease in existence at the date of the completion of the works and comprising the part of the building the usefulness of which is so impaired, shall be decreased to the extent and for the period specified in the subsequent provisions of this section.

(3)The said decrease shall be at an annual rate equal to the diminution of the annual value of the part of the building ascribable to the impairment, ascertained as at the date of the completion of the works.

(4)Where a notice has been served under the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act by or on the owner of a commercial building who is not the occupier of the whole of the building and the owner has incurred expenses in providing shelter of the approved standard in pursuance of the notice, then, unless the notice has been cancelled on appeal, the rent payable under every lease derived from his estate or interest (being a lease in existence at the date of the completion of the works) shall, unless it is otherwise agreed in connection with, or after, the provision of the shelter, be increased to the extent and for the period specified in the subsequent provisions of this section :

Provided that no increase shall be payable by any person unless the owner has served the notice, or, as the case may be, a copy thereof, on all the persons on whom he is required to serve it by the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act within the time limited by those provisions.

(5)The said increase shall be at the annual rate of the total of the two following amounts, that is to say :—

(a)one-tenth of the expenses of the owner under the notice;

(b)any diminution of the annual value of any part of the building ascribable to an impairment of the usefulness thereof by reason of the execution of the works ascertained as at the date of the completion of the works :

Provided that, in the case of a lease of part of a commercial building, the increase shall be calculated by reference not to the whole of the said total but to an amount bearing thereto the same proportion as the annual value of the part of the building at the date of the completion of the works bears to the annual value of the whole building at that date.

(6)The said increase shall operate in relation to a lease notwithstanding that the rent payable thereunder is decreased under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section, and any such increase and any such decrease shall be set off against each other accordingly.

(7)The rent on which any such increase or decrease as aforesaid operates is all rent payable under the lease in question in respect of any rent period beginning after the date of the completion of the works :

Provided that no increase or decrease shall operate in respect of more than ten years. In this subsection the expression " rent period" means the quarter or other period in respect of which an instalment of rent becomes payable under the lease in question.

(8)In this section the expression " expenses " in relation to a notice means the expenses reasonably incurred by the owner in providing shelter of the approved standard in pursuance of the notice together with—

(a)the amount of any compensation properly paid by the owner under subsection (1) of this section; and

(b)where the owner is the occupier of any part of the building in which works were executed for the purpose of providing the shelter, the amount of compensation which he would have been entitled to recover under that subsection from the owner of the building if he himself had not been the owner thereof, and the works had been done by the owner by virtue of the provisions of this Part of this Act. Where air-raid shelter which has been provided in pursuance of the notice provides a greater degree of protection or accommodation than is contemplated by the code, no greater expense shall be deemed for the purposes of this subsection to have been reasonably incurred in executing the works for the purpose of providing the shelter than would have been so incurred if that greater degree of protection or accommodation had not been provided.

(9)Notwithstanding anything in this section, if any lessee proves that he or his predecessor in title, as the case may be, was not a person on whom the notice or a copy of the notice in question was required to be served by the preceding provisions of this Act and had no reasonable opportunity of appealing to the Minister against the notice and that by reason of his or his said predecessor's inability to appeal he has suffered damage, such reduction shall be made in the amount of the increase of the rent payable under his lease as may be just.

(10)A surety for the payment of any rent which is increased under this section shall not be discharged by reason of the increase but shall not be liable in respect of the increase.

(11)Where an owner claims or could have claimed an increase of rent under this section in respect of any expenses, he shall not be entitled to claim those expenses or any part thereof under any term of a lease requiring the tenant to pay outgoings or any similar term.

(12)Subsections (4), (5), (7), (10) and (11) of this section shall apply in relation to any sums for which the owner of a commercial building becomes liable to a local authority (for the purposes of Part II of this Act) under an agreement for the provision of a public air-raid shelter for the use, in whole or in part, of persons working or living in the building, as if—

(a)the owner had provided shelter of the approved standard in pursuance of a notice duly served by him under the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act (not being a notice cancelled on appeal) and the said sums were expenses under that notice; and

(b)the date of the conclusion of the agreement were the date of the completion of the works.

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