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Rent review 2014

Malcolm Dowden (Gwentian Consulting Limited, Reading, UK)

Journal of Property Investment & Finance

ISSN: 1463-578X

Article publication date: 29 July 2014



The purpose of this legal update is to examine the recent case law relating to rent review in England and Wales. The paper argues that as rent terms have reduced in length, and as market conditions have tended to produce nil-uplifts, there have been relatively few review cases before the court. Cases that reach court tend to fall into two broad categories: contractual interpretation and challenges to third-party determination.


Review and analysis of case law in England and Wales.


There are no special rules for interpreting rent review clauses. The court's approach to contractual interpretation follows House of Lords and Supreme Court rulings culminating in Rainy Sky SA v Kookmin Bank (2011). There are also very limited circumstances in which the court will set aside an arbitrator's award, informed by a policy that favours upholding arbitration awards as a quick and cost-effective way to settle rent review disputes.

Practical implications

Rent review clauses must be interpreted in accordance with the normal rules of contractual interpretation. The court is unlikely to be swayed by submissions asserting the “general purpose” of rent review.


This is an original analysis of case law.



Dowden, M. (2014), "Rent review 2014", Journal of Property Investment & Finance, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 530-533.



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