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M&S to recoup £1m in over-paid rent

Marks & Spencer has won a case against French banking giant BNP Paribas after the retailer was charged more than £1.1m in rent from vacated properties.

The retailer had exited its store at The Point in Paddington after exercising a lease break, but the business continued to be charged for rent, car-parking fees, service charges and insurance rent.

BNP is appealing the decision, which was reached last week.

Ross Berridge, property dispute resolution partner at law firm Thomas Eggar, said although the case “changes the legal landscape and gives tenants hope of securing repayment” it was unlikely to result in similar suits being chased because often “the sums in issue do not warrant litigation”.

He added: “Clearly in the M&S case, they did. In any event BNP are appealing so the decision may not stand. It would be helpful if the Court of Appeal had the opportunity to review the entire area to make it clearer.

“The moral of this story is that tenants and landlords should agree at the outset whether rent is to be repayable where a break date falls during a rent payment period.”

M&S this week revealed its annual results, in which profits fell to £665.2m, the lowest level in eight years.

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