Work had been carried out by the leaseholders first to convert the property to multiple occupation, and subsequently back to single occupation. The tenant on exercising his right to purchase the freehold, claimed the cost shoud be reduced by the increase in value attributable to the conversion.
Held: If the tenant increases the value of the landlord’s interest by expenditure on reconversion, it would not seem fair that he should have to pay a second time when the landlord’s interest is valued for the purposes of a sale of the freehold. The works dividing the house into flats constituted an ‘improvement’, and were carried out by a predecessor in title of the enfranchising tenant. But are not fall taken into account in determining the amount of the enfranchisement price for two separate reasons: (i) they were not carried out at the tenant’s expense; and (ii) had the house still been divided into flats at the valuation date they would not have increased the value of the property as at that date but reduced it. The tenant is however entitled to take advantage of any improvement, however ancient, which satisfies the conditions of the subsection.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Millett, Lord Scott of Foscote
Times 16-Jun-2003,  UKHL 32, Gazette 31-Jul-2003
England and Wales
Cited – Balls Brothers Ltd v Sinclair 1931
Whether an ‘improvement’ really improves the property is considered from the point of view of the tenant alone, so that work may constitute an improvement although it does not increase the value of the property at all or even reduces it. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Landlord and Tenant
Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.183381