Case considering the competency of the Lands Tribunal to discharge or vary conditions in a registrable lease in terms of s90 of the Title Conditions (Scotland) Act 2003. The Co-operative Group, who were tenants under a 125 year lease of subjects at the Paisley Centre, sought to vary or discharge certain provisions including a “keep open” clause contained in the lease.
The Lands Tribunal had rejected Propinvest's (the landlord) preliminary arguments that it had no jurisdiction to vary or discharge the conditions.
Whilst noting that the issue was a difficult one in a field in which there was not a great deal of judicial authority to rely on, an extra division of the Inner House sustained Propinvest’s appeal and allowed a proof before answer on all aspects of the dispute including whether the Co-op could bring their application within the proper scope of the Tribunal's jurisdiction.
It was noted that the Inner House had specifically addressed the jurisdictional threshold for the discharge or variation of leasehold conditions under the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 (from which the powers in the 2003 Act were derived) in George T Fraser Limited v Aberdeen Harbour (1985) and that a decision should not be reached on the question of the Tribunal's jurisdiction without the fullest consideration of the Fraser decision.