25. Is it the case that the Council has kept tenants on short leases so they have not been able to invest in their businesses?
The tenants have enjoyed lease renewals and the protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act (LTA) for a long time: several decades in some cases. The Council does not agree that the lease arrangements have inhibited the opportunity for tenants to invest and refresh their premises and facilities. Seven years, with the protection of the LTA, is a reasonable length of time to encourage some modernisation by tenants. The benefit of shorter leases is that the Council has charged rental levels that are low to reflect the lease duration whereas long lease arrangements are likely to have seen higher rents for tenants to pay and less to invest in improving and refreshing their offer