Vacant Possession at Lease Expiry: How Much is Too Much? – Lexology

Commercial leases often require a tenant to provide ‘vacant possession’ in order to exercise a break option in a lease. The precise meaning of ‘vacant possession’ has been a matter of some debate, both in the courts and in the market. Simply put, vacant possession means that the relevant person, whether that is a purchaser or landlord, is in a position to enjoy the property undisturbed. Exactly what this means in practice is often unclear.

‘Vacant possession’ is generally understood to require the removal of all parties in occupation. Arguments have also been made that a tenant’s failure to remove its property or its works to the property have constituted a failure to provide vacant possession. Debate on the subject of works has tended to focus on whether the tenant had removed enough works or items. We previously considered some of these cases here.

Recent UK case

However in a

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