Landlord loses golf club legal case against charity

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 3, 2021 09:37

The landlord of a golf club has failed in its bid to contest a charity’s decision to terminate its lease during the pandemic, less than a year after acquiring it.

Get Golfing, a charity that seeks to increase participation in golf, acquired Oak Park Golf Club last year, along with five other golf clubs from Crown Golf.

However, the charity and the club’s landlord, Crondall Properties, failed to renegotiate the last four years of the lease, and Get Golfing therefore terminated its lease, stating that the lease had a provision that allowed the tenant to terminate it in the event of a government enforced closure – such as Covid – that inhibited the tenant’s ability to trade the site.

The landlord decided to contest Get Golfing’s decision to surrender the lease, arguing that the site was not closed during lockdown. Get Golfing states that it tried but failed to find a compromise.

“Get Golfing served notice on March 24 and vacated the property having completed the necessary work to satisfy their dilapidation obligations. The landlord decided to contest Get Golfing’s decision and tried to sue the specialist golf charity in the High Court,” states a spokesman for Get Golfing.

“At the end of the one-day hearing, the judge returned a verdict that the surrendering of the lease by Get Golfing was permissible and instructed Crondall Properties to pay 85 percent of Get Golfing’s legal defence.

“Since Get Golfing left the site, the clubhouse, driving range and 27 holes of golf have remained closed.”

Edward Richardson of Get Golfing said: “This is a sad story that should never really have happened – a typical story of a landlord who didn’t want to work with their tenant to manage the challenges that came with Covid.

“It was a lovely golf club that had a friendly membership and a lot of goodwill. Before surrendering the lease, we tried to engage with them. While our decision was vindicated by the High Court, we really did not see the reasons for the dispute and don’t believe anyone benefitted from these legal proceedings.”

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 3, 2021 09:37
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