Search Legislation

The Business Tenancies (Northern Ireland) Order 1996


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Restrictions on alienation or improvements

26.—(1) This Article applies where—

(a)the tenant under a tenancy to which this Order applies wishes—

(i)to alienate, or

(ii)to make any improvement in, the property comprised in the tenancy; and

(b)his contract of tenancy contains a prohibition on his doing so without the consent of the immediate landlord.

(2) That prohibition shall be subject to the qualification that consent is not to be unreasonably withheld; and where there is an obligation on the immediate landlord not to give that consent without the consent of a superior landlord, or an obligation on a superior landlord not to give consent to a consent by any other superior landlord, any such consent to a consent shall be subject to the same qualification.

(3) Where an application is made to a landlord for a consent to which this Article applies, he shall not delay unreasonably in giving or refusing that consent.

(4) A consent to which this Article applies may be given subject to any reasonable conditions.

(5) Any question arising as to whether—

(a)it is unreasonable to withhold a consent to which this Article applies; or

(b)any delay in giving or refusing such a consent is unreasonable; or

(c)any condition subject to which such a consent is given is unreasonable,

shall be referred to and determined by the Lands Tribunal.

(6) The Lands Tribunal shall not determine that a landlord has unreasonably withheld a consent to which this Article applies in the case of an improvement unless it is satisfied that the improvement—

(a)will not detract from the letting value of the property; and

(b)is reasonable and suitable to the character of the property; and

(c)will not diminish the value of other property of his.

(7) Where the Lands Tribunal determines that a landlord—

(a)has unreasonably withheld a consent to which this Article applies; or

(b)has unreasonably delayed in giving or refusing such a consent; or

(c)has imposed an unreasonable condition on such a consent,

the Lands Tribunal may order him to pay to the tenant such sum as appears sufficient as compensation for damage or loss sustained or likely to be sustained by the tenant as a result of his action or inaction in that respect.

(8) In this Article—

  • “alienate” includes assign, sub-let, mortgage and part with or share possession;

  • “consent to which this Article applies” means an immediate landlord’s consent to alienation or the making of an improvement, or a superior landlord’s consent (at any remove) to such a consent;

  • “improvement” means any addition to or alteration of a building or structure or the erection of any ancillary or subsidiary building or structure (but not any alteration or reconstruction of a building or structure such as to make it lose its original identity);

  • “a landlord” includes an immediate landlord and a superior landlord;

  • “superior landlord” means a person whose estate is superior to the estate of the immediate landlord; and any reference to a consent required from a landlord includes a consent required from some other person (and references to the granting or withholding of consent by a landlord, or to conditions subject to which consent is given by a landlord, or to other property of, or the payment of compensation by, a landlord, shall be construed accordingly).

Back to top


Print Options


Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.


Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources