The Harrison Drury Blog

5 things a tenant should know about commercial leases

Office to lease

The majority of businesses need premises to operate from, whether they be for offices, workshops, factories or storage facilities. While some businesses own the premises they operate from, most occupy under a lease paying a market rent. But, there is more to a commercial lease than the payment of rent and the answers to the following commonly asked questions will give potential business tenants some useful guidance:-

1. Once I have signed the lease can I get out of it if my business suffers a downturn?

Leases are generally granted for a fixed period of years known as a term.  The lease term can only be ended early by the tenant if, prior to entering the lease the landlord has agreed that the tenant has an option to do so, or, the landlord later agrees to release the tenant from the lease before the term has expired.  If neither of these situations arise, and you cannot find an acceptable replacement tenant for the premises, you may well remain bound to pay the rent and comply with all other obligations until the end of the lease term, even if you have vacated the premises.

2. I know there will be rent to pay, but are there any other costs I may be responsible for under the lease?

If you are renting part of the landlord’s building such as an office block, you may also have a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep and maintenance of common parts of the whole building such as the roof and structural walls, or other things that are used in common with other occupiers of the landlord’s property, such as lifts or a reception area.  This is often referred to as service charge.  The tenant will also be responsible for the payment of the insurance premium for the premises to cover damage to the premises and also the loss of rent the landlord may suffer if the premises become unusable due to such damage.

There can be a cost if you want to transfer the lease, or sub-let part of the property to someone else, as you will usually need the landlord’s written permission, and the landlord can normally claim the cost of considering whether to agree to the transaction and also drafting and agreeing the form of the written permission.  Finally, you will usually be responsible for the business rates, utilities and any other outgoings in relation to the premises.

3. If I find that there are repairs required to the premises, am I right to think the landlord will sort them out?

Most commercial landlords not only seek to avoid any responsibility to carry out repairs to the premises, but will actually seek to put the responsibility for putting the property into repair on the tenant’s shoulders.  A tenant who agrees to a full repairing obligation can find himself with a repairing bill running into tens of thousands of pounds when the lease ends, despite the fact that the disrepair pre-dated the lease itself.  A well advised tenant will try to limit his repairing responsibility to keeping it in no worse state than it was at the date of the lease.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that an ingoing tenant obtains a survey to check and record the condition of the premises before they enter into a lease.

4. What happens if, after I have taken the lease, I discover there are problems relating to the premises that impact on my business?

The principle of “buyer beware” relates to a tenant taking a lease in the same way that it does to a purchaser buying a property, meaning that a tenant takes a property “warts and all” and he must satisfy himself that it is suitable both physically and legally for the use he intends.  The research into the property carried out by a good lawyer will reveal many things about the property, including whether the landlord actually has the power to grant the lease, any adverse rights that may affect it as well as any rights that benefit the property such as rights of way.   Lawyers can carry out a range of enquiries and searches to discover such things as planning permissions affecting the land, whether the property is connected to the public highway, whether there is any risk that the premises may be on contaminated land, whether the is a risk of subsidence due to historic mining in the area, whether the property is connected to mains utilities and a host of other information.

It is common for tenants who have not been represented by solicitors to enter a lease without finding out any of this information.  If a problem rears its head in such a case, say for instance the property does not have planning permission to use it for the tenant’s business, he will have no comeback against the landlord and the tenant will have to continue paying the rent despite the fact he may have a useless asset.

5. I’ve heard that a landlord can change the locks of my business premises if I am late paying the rent, is this true?

In short, yes.  The powers of a commercial landlord to deal with non-payment of rent are far-reaching.  Forfeiture is the procedure by which a landlord can terminate a lease and virtually all commercial leases will have a clause allowing the landlord to terminate the lease if the rent is unpaid for a specified number of days, usually somewhere between 14 -28.  Unlike their residential brethren, commercial landlords do not need a court order to retake possession of leased property if their right to forfeit the lease has arisen because of late payment of rent.  Landlords also have the right to send bailiffs in to seize the tenant’s goods and sell them if the rent is unpaid, but legislation will soon come into force to restrict this right.

The above answers cover some basic issues relating to commercial leases, but in reality only scratch the surface of what is a complicated topic.  If you have any queries relating to commercial leases please comment on this article and I will try and answer them.  I will also be posting further blogs on different aspects of commercial leases and commercial property in general and welcome and comments and contributions you may have.

604 Comments

By Jack Stephenson on September 1st, 2015

Dear Andrew

Thank you for your comment.

Unfortunately I would need to see a copy of your lease before providing any advice. Does the lease expressly state that the rent is to be paid quarterly and if so, does it state that the rent is payable in advance of the rent payment dates?

I would also need to assess whether your lease contains a covenant for quiet enjoyment. Even if there is no express provision in the lease, there may be an implied obligation on the landlord to give you “quiet enjoyment” of the property. This means that you should have possession of the property without interference or interruption from your landlord, however this is likely to be dependent on the rent being paid in accordance with the provisions of your lease.

As outlined above, I would need to see a copy of your lease before confirming my advice and how you should proceed. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com.

Kind Regards

Jack Stephenson

By iffy saab on September 2nd, 2015

hello..
i have a pretty weird situation here..i have been renting shop premises for over 3 years now, but the leese has not been signed.. i have been waitin 3 years for the lanlord to giv me the leese but has failed to do so, he has now gave me the leese but with added payments on the leese i.e vat.. thers is no contract sighned but the business is on my name i pay rent nd bills.. he is planng on evicting me.. can he do that and if so how does he have to giv me a notice.. if any could help please email me thanks

By sara on September 5th, 2015

Hi- I am renting a shop under a Licence. Since opening I have had rainwater coming in, damage to my stock and have not been able to trade – the landlord has told me to ‘pay up or go’ do I have any rights for compensation as the building is not fit for purpose?
Many thanks

By Miss Miller on September 12th, 2015

Hi, we had a sub lease from our head office which had a commercial lease with a landlord. We paid the rent on time etc.The lease expired and we left the premises 1 year ago. In the meantime the Landlord has demanded 26K back rent which apparently dated back to a “increase rent review” that neither head office or us were aware. If the landlord forgot to instigate this rent review – surely it is his fault ?

By Rhian Hawkins on September 15th, 2015

Dear Miss Miller

Thank you for your recent enquiry.

Before being in a position to provide you with any definitive advice, I would require sight of the lease and all correspondence that has passed between you and your landlord.

I can advise that a landlord cannot usually unilaterally carry out a rent review. However, that said if there is provision for rent review contained in the Lease, your Landlord may undertake a rent review provided that he complies with the obligations contained in the Lease in respect of rent review and is not prohibited by time. Most modern rent review clauses expressly provide that time is not of the essence rather than mandatory time limits, this means that the rent review can be carried out at any time on or after the rent review date noted in the Lease.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 258 321 or rhian.hawkins@harrison-drury.com

Kind regards

Rhian

By Salon Ltd on September 16th, 2015

Good Morning,
I am due to exit my lease using our break clause. Our term ends on the 3rd October, we have given correct notice etc.
I have just received a bill for the next quarter of rent that begins on the 29th September, the landlord has said that it is “case law” that I have to pay the full quarter even though I am only going to be in the shop for 4 days.
I also have to pay a full year of insurance at it is due to be paid this month.
I think this is extremely unfair.

Do I have to pay?

Thank you

By Amanda Davies on September 16th, 2015

Does a landlord have to disclose disputes when marketing a premises to let?
The reason I ask is I ran a successful business for over 30 years. My landlord had a business at the same premises on the ground floor below my business.
I was attacked and badly beaten by the employee and daughter of the landlord. I have been left disabled by this attack and can no longer do the work required to run my business. The attacker was arrested and taken to court and found guilty by jury.During the trial I discovered the the attacker had several previous sentencing due to assault and affray and had a class A drugs charge also.
As a result of my ongoing health problems I have had to close my business. I see that the landlord is now marketing my premises and am concerned that any potential tenants may not know about the violent employee downstairs.

By Jack Stephenson on September 22nd, 2015

Hi Salon Ltd

Many thanks for your comment.

How much rent you are liable to pay will be determined by the terms of your lease. Unfortunately I would need to see the lease before I was able to confirm the position.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com.

Kind Regards

Jack Stephenson

By Faisal on September 26th, 2015

On a lease that has been excluded from protection of the LTA, is a section 25 notice needed. The landlord wishes to propose a new lease when the current one ends. The new lease offered will also be offered with exclusion of protection.

By Bob Lucas on September 29th, 2015

I have been renting a part of a commercial building via a lease for 20 years, the lease has now run out but I am renting on a rolling basis, there has been no break in the lease at any stage
The landlord has recently put in for planning permission to turn the building into domestic residences. If he is successful am I entitled to any compensation to cover relocation, moving and lose of income while we move premises

By Beccy Hayles on October 9th, 2015

Dear Faisal

Thank you for your recent query.

To provide you with any definitive advice I would require sight of the lease and all relevant documentation that has passed between you and your landlord.

Assuming the Lease has been correctly excluded from protection of the LTA 1954 as you mention, a section 25 notice would not be required. In such an instance the tenancy will come to an end on the contractual expiry date provided for in the lease; no notice from the landlord is required. Following the expiration term any renewal of a lease will be a matter for negotiation between the parties. It is important that this negotiation takes place in advance of the lease expiry date to avoid potentially breaching any requirement to give vacant possession.
If you have any further questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 258 321 or Rebecca.Hayles@harrison-drury.com.

Kind regards

Beccy Hayles

By Tim court on October 15th, 2015

I own a building that has 3 separate businesses who each have individual leases for the last 30 years. The leases were originally 21 year full repairing insuring leases and have been renewed on 2 of the units.
The one that expired some years ago has had the same tenant for approx 15 years and his lease was assigned to him and has subsequently expired.
We were in the process of renewing the lease but it never got done.
He has continued to pay the quarterly rent until now.
He will not return calls emails or letters.
Can I take possession of the property and how can it be done legally.
Can I sue for the last quarter rent (£2625) plus he owes 1/3 building insurance premium which I have had to pay (under the terms of the lease that has expired this was his obligation)

By Steve Atkinson on October 15th, 2015

Hi, a quick question if I may.
My commercial lease is about to end (in 6 months)and I will not be renewing. I have had a recent electrical inspection and received a satisfactory certificate. On leaving can the landlord insist on a rewire to bring the wiring up to the current standard (the present wiring is over 25 years old)even with a satisfactory electrical certificate?
Thanks for your reply in advance.

By Rhian Hawkins on October 20th, 2015

Steve

Thank you for your recent enquiry.

Before being in a position to provide you with any definitive advice, I would require sight of a copy of the Lease under which you occupy the property. This matter will ultimately depend upon the yielding up provisions and repairing obligations contained in the Lease on the part of the tenant.

If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 258 321 or rhian.hawkins@harrison-drury.com

Kind regards

Rhian

By Victor I. on October 21st, 2015

Hello there,

So I signed a commercial lease on July 20th 2015. I was supposed to start my business September 1st because the landlord needed a 30 day notice to terminate the current tenant. September comes and I can’t move in because current tenat is still there. I quit my job because I was told I was going to get the space. So I call the broker whom I signed the lease with and he tells me I have to wait three weeks because they are evicting the tenant and they will change the locks. Three weeks go by and I’m still without a job and still haven’t open my business. I call them back and they tell me I have to wait one more month as they are doing all the paperwork for the eviction process. So here I am without a job. With flyers already made and remade because they keep telling I would be able to move into the premises and I still have not. Now we are 10 day away from November and I’m going crazy. I need to make some income and this has not helped at all. What can I do. I have text msgs from them telling a leading me into thinking I would open soon. But it seems as if this will continue on. What are my rights.

By Emmajane on October 22nd, 2015

Hi
I lease out part of my house as a small coffee shop. Only the Terms of Contract was signed. I always had a key in case of emergency, I.e if she kept the oven on I need to be able to gain access as if there was a fire it would wipe out two semi detached houses and the shop…all part of one large divided up property.
Two weeks ago she decided that she no longer wanted me to have a key and gave it to her mother and had one cut for her friend who lives in the village.
She said that as she was broken into once she didn’t want me having a key. I told her that I needed one for safety reasons but she wouldn’t listen. There have been a few issues since she has been there…14 months

1. She has missed four months rent…three I wrote off but the forth one she is paying off £50 a month.
2. When she moved in and decorated she uncovered four antique urinals. I asked her not to remove them as I would call the antique place to buy them…they currently sell for £175 on the net, within 3 days she had them removed without my permission.
3. After 3 months the rent was meant to rise from £400 to £500 then after another 3 months would rise to the £600 normal for this area. In 14 months she only paid the £400 for 12 and £500 for two. Despite of this she still owes me a further £750 arrears. Due to these payments I have lost £3100 however I was trying to be a supportive, but obviously stupid landlady.
4. She erected a lean-to at the side of the property without permission, drilling into a 200 year old stone wall and it overhangs my garden causing it to flood when it rains.
5. Her family are there constantly and I have caught her young nephews throwing stones over my garden where I keep my Campervan.
6. When she was broken into they broke the window frame, she has not replaced this but instead put up very thin bars as a prevention.

Her terms of contract has expired. I have been to the Estate Agents that manage the property for me and they have given her a termination of lease letter which will take effect on 30th November. As I live next door things are very awkward and I dread coming home from work.

Is it possible to get her out sooner? Or even turn the water off? What are my rights here?

Thanks for your time, I just need this thing over with as it has been three weeks already.

By Jack Stephenson on October 23rd, 2015

Dear Victor

Many thanks for your question.

Before I am able to confirm my advice I would need to see a copy of your lease.

If the lease has been properly signed and completed and assuming it refers to a term commencement of September, it would appear that your landlord is now in breach by failing to allow access to and use of the property. If this is the case, you may be able to make a claim against the landlord for your various losses including the loss of income and any other costs such as having the fliers re-drafted.

If you would like me to look into this further, I would need to see a copy of your lease along with any correspondence from your landlord (e.g. texts etc).

Please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com.

Kind Regards

Jack

By Jack Stephenson on October 23rd, 2015

Dear Emma Jane

Many thanks for your comment.

I would need to see copies of the Terms of Contract and any correspondence between you, the Estate Agent and the tenant before I am able to confirm my advice.

The Terms of Contract may contain provisions stating how and when the agreement can be terminated, however without sight of them it is difficult to advise on the next steps available to you.

Apologies I cannot be of more assistance. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com.

Kind Regards

Jack

By lee grant on October 24th, 2015

Hi

I have ran a successful car auction business for the last 2 years from two commercial units I rent from my landlords, when we moved into the premises we found out due to change in our initial usage that we had to agree a additional license to allow us to run the auction from our landlords.

This was granted however it allowed the landlords to withdraw it at any time without prejudice. Now a few months ago I had a offer from a local firm interested in the business to purchase, this would mean we would have no use for one of the units we used so I made an enquiry only with the landlord of where we would stand in termination or surrender of our lease which has around 3 years to run.

The landlords took this to mean I wanted out, did not keep me informed or answer my question, but asked other tenants on the site if they wanted the unit in question, A party did offer interest and the landlords sent me a email out of the blue stating they had found a tenant and had agreed a new let and I was to be out by the end of the month to my shock.

at this point I had not singed any surrender and not even agreed any terms to do so, in fact I had not concluded my negotiations with a interested buyer. I decided not to go ahead with my sale and that I would see out the lease. My landlord became pushy demanding me out, it got so bad that i went to my solicitor and asked them to send a letter stating my position as my landlords just will not listen to me.

this week I received a letter from my landlords solicitors stating that they had removed my licence to hold vehicle auctions with a immediate effect, they even did this on the day of our weekly sale. with hundreds of people about to attend. If I went forward with the auction I would be in breach of the lease.

I went to the landlords HQ and spoke with them as they would not speak to me as normal by phone, they stated that they would not allow permission for auctions at all, however if I singed the surrender form of the lease I would be allowed to conclude two remaining sales, clean up the unit and leave.

I had no choice to do this as remaining with both units was not a option as there would be no income coming in to pay the high rent i pay.,

My successful profitable business is now about to cease due to being in my opinion blackmailed and forced to stop my business or I would face bankruptcy within weeks. my staff have now been told they are loosing there jobs next week and my customers are devastated, and of course me and my wife are distraught with what they have done.

I want to take legal action for Detrimental effect there actions have done to my business (the collapse), that the landlords have forced me out and have been prejudice, blackmail, vindictive, for there own gain, to secure a new tenant (who is a multi million pound company I might add). I would not have lost my business if I had not made that enquiry, the landlord has seized a opportunity to get rid of me a soon as they found someone better. Where do I stand ??? I really need some advice on this.

just to make you aware there was never any rent issues, all rents paid on time and i was not in breach of my lease in case people think I am not telling the whole story.

Many thanks

lee

By Jola on October 28th, 2015

Hello,

I need your help urgently. Three years ago my husband bought a new Lease to run a business.
All was carried out by Solicitor, so we thought everything was done in accordance with the law.
Now due to personal issues, we have to sell the Lease but we have found that the Lease never been registered in Land Registry. Going further we discovered that copy we have got, is not signed by both parties and does not mention the length of the lease.
I have asked the Landlord for the scan of her copy, but have no response. I have not response from the Solicitor who done the job for us as well.
Please advise what is our situation in this circumstances? What we should do? Is this Lease Valid at all?
Thanks for your reply in advance.
Kind regards,
Jola

By Simon on November 3rd, 2015

Hi I signed a 1 year lease outside the act with no right to renew
1 month before the lease expired I contacted the landlord to ask if I could extend it
I did not get a reply but got invoice for 3 months rent after the lease had expired, I paid it and assumed they had given me another 3 months
the day after the lease had expired they chopped my lock off and chained the gate, giving me just 7 days to remove all my stuff.
is this legal
or is sending an invoice and receiving a payment an agreement to my occupation
thanks
simon

By suthan on November 6th, 2015

my commercial lease has expired 5 years ago, I have subsequently renewed the lease after being in court for a year; a court order is in place however I have not taken the landlord to court.
Because my landlord is very smart and he has the best solicitor.

so I am still going by the old protected lease.

4 years ago, the landlord did some painting works on the commercial property. I did not pay for the painting costs of 10,000 pounds – which the landlord challenged me in a small claims court and won.

Subsequent research showed that the landlord had carried out works on a similar property at the very same time 6 miles away in an other borough – I have Google photos, (it shows the painting being done inside the premise, and the outside appears to have fresh coated paint) and the council have confirmed at very same dates, scaffolding license was applied by “X” for the property. I also have evidence that this property is owned by the landlord.
The council did not reveal the information act.

and now, 3 years later more works have been done on the premise and the landlord is demanding further 3600 pounds.

I am planning to pay this fee upon the agreeing to grant lease and subsequence sale of the lease as have buyer standing by.

Do you have any advice on the above matter?

By Kerry Southworth on November 11th, 2015

Dear Lee

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with advice until we see all the documentation and correspondence with regards to your licence.

It may be that your agreement may not actually be a licence as defined though this will depend on whether you have exclusive possession of the units you are currently renting and all the terms as a whole. If you did have exclusive possession, this would mean your agreement could legally be a lease giving you some statutory protection.

Depending on the form and terms of the agreement, we will then be able to advise on whether you have a claim for business losses. I understand this is a distressing time for you and that time is of the essence in dealing with this matter. If you would like to send us the documents, please contact Laura Hallett Lea on Laura.HallettLea@harrison-drury.com or alternatively on 01772 258 321.

Kind Regards
Kerry Southworth

By Jack Stephenson on November 11th, 2015

Dear Suthan

Thank you for your comment.

Unfortunately it is difficult to provide any advice without reviewing the documents to which you refer.

If you would like me to look into this further, could you please provide a copy of your lease, copies of any relevant court orders and any correspondence between you, your landlord and their solicitor.

Apologies I cannot be of more assistance, however if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com.

Kind Regards

Jack Stephenson

By Tom on November 12th, 2015

A novices lease enquiry:

I am looking at leasing a small property with the hope of turning it into a micropub. I am currently in negotiation with the landlord via their commercial agents.

I have asked for a couple of considerations due to the nature of my potential business – basically I don’t want to sign a lease before successfully applying for an alcohol licence and change of use (which seems to take 8 weeks)

I also don’t want to be be in the process of applying/paying for the licence and planning, and lose the property through having no security.

A second concern is a mutual break-out clause which would be outside “the security of tenure provisions of the L&T Act 1954.” Is this standard with “break-out” clause and who does it favour?

Kind regards in advance

Tom

By Kings on November 19th, 2015

I took over a business about ten years ago, At the time the landlord agreed to me taking on the premises. we agreed a small rent increase at the same time. It was on agreement that i take on the existing lease and coantract which i have never seen, onlky thing i was given was a peice of paper stating that the rent would be reviewd in 3 years.Landlord is now very old and thinking of selling he is very happy with me as i have never missed one payment, if we cannot agree on a fair price can i be told i have to leave?

By Mrs S on November 21st, 2015

I am a landlord of a commercial property. I leased the business off approximately 6 years ago, the tenant has 19 years of the lease remaining. It is a newsagents and office at the moment and the tenant has asked if they can introduce a postoffice into the shop (as the local one is closing and they have been approached). Can we refuse this? If we agree could it affect us in anyway in the future? could we agree on the basis that the rent goes up and a lumpsum payment is provided along with the tenents covering legal costs to amend lease?

By Caroline on November 23rd, 2015

Hello, my partner and his friend share a workshop which they have been in for over 25 years, their landlord now wants the premises back so that he can use it for his own business, they have no lease and pay a monthly rent, he has hand written very short letter asking them to vacate the premises at the end of March 2016, we are just wondering what rights they have,
Many thanks,
Caroline

By Tracy on November 23rd, 2015

Hello, my mother-in-law passed away last year and she owned residential and business property (one unit). Her son has no tenant agreement and has never paid rent on the business section of the property. Her estate went to probate and it is to be sold, her son is refusing to leave and we are in the process of taking him to court. He registered his business in 2005 and the only thing he pays is the business rates. Nothing else. Can we evict him on these grounds.
Many thanks for your prompt reply.

By Maya on November 23rd, 2015

Hello, we have a commercial lease on a ground floor, with a flat above both owned by the same landlord. Recently, there was a major leak from the flat above due to faulty plumbing carried out by the landlord. It has taken two months to sort it out with the landlord making us deal with the builders. We have been unable to use part of the premises at all and had to cancel out work. Can we claim for our rent, the damage to our property, the inconvenience,and the clean up after the builders? Thanks

By Kerry Southworth on November 27th, 2015

Dear Caroline

Thank you for your comment.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide you with advice until we establish on what terms the property is being rented.

It may be that your partner and his friend may have security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. If they do have security of tenure, the landlord’s ability to terminate the tenancy is restricted in terms of the form of the notice to terminate and the time frame, which is usually between 6-12 months. I note that in this case, the timing is less than this and the form of the notice appears to be minimal, though I am unable to comment more until we receive a copy of the letter and determine the tenancy.

Depending on the terms on which your partner and his friend have a tenancy of the workshop, we will then be able to advise your partner and his friend as to their rights in relation to the proposed eviction.

If you would like us to review the tenancy, please contact one of our Property Litigation team on 01772 258 321 and they will be able to provide a quote.

Many Thanks
Kerry Southworth

By David Gibson on November 30th, 2015

Hello,
I own a shop which is let on a 10 year lease – two more years to go. The tenants are responsible for repairs. I have recently discovered the tenants have not had the gas boiler serviced in many years. Do they have an obligation to have it serviced? They tell me they don’t think it is worth doing. What can I do if they will not get it serviced?
Similarly, I have discovered the electrical wiring has not been inspected for over 20 years. I intend to get this done at my expense and then ask the tenants to do any essential safety repairs identified. But what can I do if they fail to do these repairs? Many thanks. David

By Jane Louise on December 2nd, 2015

Hello, I have found my first business premises which I want to lease however I need planning (change of use) and a premises licence which can both take 6-8 weeks. How do I go about applying for the tenancy and the planning in terms of what should I do first. I really don’t want to lose the opportunity to take on these premises, however I don’t want to commit in case planning or the licence is not granted. I am new to this, sorry and thank you so much for your help. Great website!

By Laura Brereton on December 11th, 2015

Dear Tom,

Thanks for your comment.

Your first concern can potentially be addressed by asking the Landlord to enter into a conditional contract. In brief, the contract would confirm that you will both proceed with the Lease subject to you obtaining satisfactory planning. If planning was not obtained, you would not be obliged to enter into the Lease.

Your second concern is a little complicated as a ‘break out’ clause and ‘security of tenure’ provisions need to be considered separately as they both work differently.

If you call our commercial property team on 01772 258321 they will be able to discuss the above in more detail and review the lease and any other documentation in relation to it.

Kind regards,

Laura

By Jules on December 16th, 2015

Hi there,

My partner and I are planning on moving our business to a new premises and have made a verbal agreement with the landlord of a new property just under a week ago.

The current tenants, who are due to move out at the end of the month, have found out we are going to be taking over the property and have come onto our premises where we are now and asked us to contribute between 2 and 3K to their premises or they will have no option but to rip everything out. They say they will take the flooring, strip back the walls, pull out the fireplace etc. We said we have agreed our rent with the landlord based on the premises as it currently looks and that they will need to speak to him. They have approached us twice now, and as i say, we only verbally agreed under a week ago.

The landlord has said to ignore them but we’re a little worried about it. The tenants say that the landlord hasn’t contributed anything to the look of the premises and they spent around 30K on it when they moved in 5 years ago so they want something back for it. Is it just me or is it odd for them to approach us directly asking for money?

Do they have the right to completely gut the place, just leaving a shell?

Thanks for your time!

By Sioux on December 25th, 2015

Hello. I have a commercial lease which includes living accommodation and a clause that I must run the business as a village shop and post office for minimum of 5 days per week. The lease is excluded from the landlord and tenant act. I purchased the business as a going concern from previous tenants who unbeknown to me, were close friends of the landlord. Within days of moving in the landlord made it very clear he wants me out of the premises. He has come into the shop on numerous occasions and made the most vile racist comments and referred to all people of my ethnicity as savages, benefit cheats or drug dealers. He ordered his workmen to remove all my signs from the village and boundary, which I understand had been here for many years. He has made my life an utter misery for over four years. I have involved the police twice, but they have informed me it is a civil matter and do not want to get involved as the landlord is the multi millionaire owner of the local estate, complete with title, and owns 120 of the 200 houses in the village together with thousands of acres. I have so far managed to stay in business and pay the rent. Two days before Xmas I was informed verbally by the estate manager that the landlord will be opening a village shop in premises he owns, three doors away from my premises. When I asked why anybody would do that when it is virtually impossible to earn a living from the existing shop which also has a part time post office, he laughed and said it was not being done to make money. I can’t compete with someone who is willing and able to lose money in order to put me out of business. I have previously asked if I can terminate the lease but told that I am welcome to walk out as “nobody asked your type to come here” but I will be liable for rent and repairs for the remaining lease, which is now 9 years. My question is about the Quiet Enjoyment clause of the lease and whether his actions are in breach? It seems from what I have read this is a very grey area in law and I would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

By kirstie riddell on January 9th, 2016

hi i have recently opened up a retail shop only 6 months ago and have signed a 3 year lease the business is not making what i expected and i am now behind on my rent by 8 days now but have no way of catching up as i am also behind on bills and rates too. my financial situation is just getting worse as i am just getting more behind on all the bills and rent, i want to try and get out of my lease as fast as i can before this goes to far. i have told the landlord that i don’t have the money to pay himand asked is there was anyway we can get out but was not interested. can you give me any advice at all please thank you.

By zahir mahmood on January 12th, 2016

Hi, I have recently opened and discovered many issues with the property.

The landlord had blocked main sewage pipe from outside the building and this has caused raw sewage to overflow back in to the building.
It has cost me for drain experts to come and look at the drains – am I able to bill back the landlord for this or deduct from the rent as he is not willing to discuss my damages?
We have had to rip out kitchen floor tiles where sewage was leaking only to discover a manhole the landlord didn’t even know existed.
Am I able to take matters further?

By June bagnall on January 20th, 2016

We had a 6 year lease on a shop which excluded section 24-28 LTA it expired 2012 and wasn’t renewed. Our landlord now wants to sell the property which includes a flat above. We have been advised that as we are holding over, we now have Protected tenancy and although we want to remain running our business,we don’t know how long we want to continue so don’t want to sign a new lease. What rights has the landlord regarding ability to sell? Many thanks. J.

By Maggie on January 26th, 2016

I had rented a commercial place for Spa and beauty treatments. I have one year signed lease, so my business is Spa and Hair Studio. The problem is the landlord does not allow to me put sign for the Hair studio because, there and other salon in the building and I think they are complain about my business. When I sign the lease there is no restrictions to put a Hair salon o something like that. T he landlord sent me a email that said if I do not take out the hair sign in 24 hrs. He said like he is going to take out me. Is that correct the landlord can do that?
I will appreciate to oriented about it.

Thank you

By Tracy on January 26th, 2016

Hi, I own a dance studio and I am behind in rent as my business is not doing well. The landlord has locked me out and is keeping all of the belongings. However, I have dance costumes that are in there that have been paid for by clients. Can they hold these items? How can they resell them when they have been purchased by a third party?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you

By Zdenka Baker on February 1st, 2016

Hi, we have been renting an office since June 2014 (fully serviced office space)and we have had on-going issues with air-conditioning. In their defence, every time there has been an issue, they managed to sort it within a week. But since coming back on the 4th January 2016, the air-con stopped working. We have 30C in the office and no windows, we can only keep the door open to the community space (so much noise). Today is the 1st February 2016 and they keep giving us different reasons as to why it is still not working. It is absolutely ridiculous. It is a lovely office, modern looking space just off Chancery Lane in London, but the service is rubbish! We want to achieve a reduction in rent.
Thank you for your help, any advice is very much appreciated.

By Beccy Hayles on February 3rd, 2016

Dear Zdenka

Many thanks for your question.

Before being in a position to provide you with any definitive advice, I would require sight of a copy of the lease under which you occupy the property.

However, in general terms, a lease will usually have a section explaining the landlord’s responsibilities. These responsibilities often include making sure the property is in good repair and ensuring that installations are in proper working order. If the landlord fails to comply with the repairing obligations, the tenant, broadly speaking, has two options:
1. It may continue to pay the rent in full and pursue the landlord separately for damages it has suffered as a result of the landlords breach of its repairing obligations (i.e. by negotiating with the landlord and/or bringing court proceedings if necessary);
2. It may seek to withhold a proportion of its rent by way of set off for the damages it has suffered as a result of the landlord’s breach.
Option two is often the more attractive, and the landlord may be willing to agree to it.
However, some leases seek to exclude the tenant’s right to make deductions from rent in this way. The precise wording of such a clause and the circumstances in which the lease was granted will determine whether such an exclusion is enforceable.

If you call our property litigation team on 01772 258321 they will be able to discuss the above in more detail and review the lease and any other documentation in relation to it to provide you with a more detailed advice.

Kind regards,

Beccy Hayles

By Carol sanigar on February 3rd, 2016

Hi I have four years remaining on my law society commercial lease of ground floor and basement in a building with three residential flats above, the landlord/freeholder has put the building on tha market to sell, is my lease protected if he sells the building
Thank you

By Brad on February 4th, 2016

who pays the ground rent on property owner or tennant!!

By Dawn barlow on February 18th, 2016

My partner has a lease plus buisness licence in his name, the buisness partner that never put any money into it has tried stealing the buisness off my partner, where does my partner stand legally? Is it legal for him to change locks and take it back?

By halim ghalem on February 21st, 2016

I have just renew my shop lease to 15 years.I have been a good tenant for more than 12 years.I have always paid my rent on time by direct debit,busness rent ,building insurance even thought there is flats above me ,and i have paid all my maintenace .I have just replace my shop shutter yesterday.I am running a small barber shop.the problem i am having is that my landlord is harassing me with email asking me to pay 18 thousabds ponds saying his surveyers are saying that the cost of the refurbishement with be 300 grounds just because he has roof problem.the tenant of the top floor swas pushing him to fix her roof then he is harassing me to pay this amount saying that iam breaching the lease.i am realky lost because i am runing a snall business and i know the kease says i can contribute to thr refurbishemnet but he can come up with this amount as he has money abd has good solicitors.can hyou pkease help me to tell me wgat i have to do as i dont have the money to fight back by using bog sollicitors.mr ghalem

By LESLEY on March 1st, 2016

We have a first floor of which was installed over 21 years ago within our business property. The company our landlord instructs to lease his property are now telling us that we have to pay additional rent, 100%, 50% or 30%, of our annual rent as this structure if over 21 years old. Can they do this….

By Robert Burn on March 2nd, 2016

Dear Dawn,

Thank you for your query.

Whether or not your partner can change the locks, as a tenant, will depend on the terms of his lease. However, even if the lease allows this, excluding his business partner from the premises is likely to hinge on the exact nature of the business relationship.

If you or your partner would like to discuss the matter further, please send a copy of the lease and, if applicable, a copy of any partnership agreement to Robert.Burn@Harrison-Drury.com, or call 01772 429210.

Kind regards,

Robert

By Annie Shapcott on March 2nd, 2016

We have had a commercial lease from a private landlord of a pub for the past two years. When we took on the lease we were assured the roof would be repaired and guarantee for 10 years,the roof continued to leak. A further repair was undertaken 12 months ago, the roof continued to leak. Now 2 years on she has been forced into replacing the roof( grade 2 listed building)

We have always paid the rent without VAT now she has to do the work on the roof she has re registered for VAT to reclaim the amount she will be charged on the works and has suddenly told us that will will have to pay VAT on our rent.
We are registered for VAT but this will cause us a cash flow problem, we already have an arrangement with HMRC over our VAT as we are struggling to make the business work and behind with our payments.
Paying VAT on our rent will cause severe problems for us in fact so much so we may have to try to sell our lease, is it essential that she tax the rent?

By Chelsie Simosin on March 10th, 2016

Hi…I am currently have a commercial rent agreement between business and the ‘landlord’, we are having some problems with our landlord and I need to know firstly, does everybodies names mentioned on the agreement have to have been signed for it to be legal?
Also is the landlord responsible for major repairs on the premis that affects our work?
There are 2 parties included between my business and the landlord… I.e.
Tenant(me) Groomalicious Chelsie and Michelle
Landlord Caroline and Allan…
I received a text message on my personal phone from somebody I have never heard of, regarding advertisement, saying they are now dealing with all Alan’s affairs due to his absence..we have never been given a letter or signed document to advise this? Would this need to be done before we have to take any legal advise from this person, as she is insisting we take down some of our advertising banners? But I don’t see how she can? It also turns out that she is actually the ‘second” persons Caroline, sister….
Please help?

By Catherine Enver on March 10th, 2016

I have a fully repair lease for a hair salon
There is some ceiling damage, caused by the roof
It was supposed to be carried out by my landlord, terms agreed, I have paper work
My ĺease is ending , I’ve queried this with my LD only to be told its my responsibility and to do the work immediately
I can’t afford to carry out this work
What are my rights please

By Jack Stephenson on March 15th, 2016

Dear Catherine

Many thanks for your comment.

Unfortunately it is difficult to advise without reviewing your lease and any subsequent correspondence with your landlord.

The extent of your repairing obligations are likely to be determined by the demise of your lease, subject of course to any subsequent “terms” you have agreed with your landlord.

Please feel free to contact me on jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com with the above documents if you wish to discuss this further.

Kind Regards

Jack Stephenson

By David on March 19th, 2016

Dear Jack,

My sincerest apologies for the long winded message that follows, however there is no real way of explaining all of this in brief.

Myself and my partner find ourselves in quite a predicament and hope that you can assist.

We currently rent a warehouse unit and have done so for some 6 months or so from which we run a small start up. We took the unit on on an “all inclusive” basis, that is a fixed sum that was to include all service charges, bills and rates. When we took the unit on it was an empty shell. There was no electricity, no toilets, no lights, no running water – nothing.

We have since spent somewhere in the region of 4-6K fitting out to make the unit habitable and turn it into our base of operations

Ever since taking the unit on we have chased the landlord for a contract and have been promised “next month, next month, next month…” but next month never comes. We have also requested invoices and receipts for all rent payments which we have not received, and all payments have been paid by cash – as he would generally drop it on us that he needed it “today” rather than making formal arrangements.

Luckily we kept records of all withdrawals and have details of at least one electronic transfer made. We also have emails and text messages confirming requests for ‘rent’ and figures as agreed.

Some months ago I challenged him on the matter and stated that we simply could not keep making cash payments without any kind of formal record and reiterated that we needed receipts/invoices and a contract/lease. He agreed in January that this was acceptable and said that he wouldn’t expect any further payments until the contracts were finalised.

Some time in the middle of January he approached me offering us a “deal” that involved us taking on the lease for the whole building, which would result in us receiving free rent on our unit. In a nutshell, he had arranged for a new tenant to move in upstairs who would pay the rent for the building in its entirety, which would leave just the building insurance to be split between our floor and the new tenant upstairs, to be paid to the building owner.

Over the past two months we have continued to pay our rent, whilst waiting for the new contract in our name on the whole building to go through, which has subsequently been declined. In the meantime our Landlord has been attempting to collect “our half” of the insurance money over the past several weeks and has basically been attempting to extort it from us using a number of different techniques – before obtaining it from another tenant of the building, promising him that I will pay him back and then leaving the country without telling anybody.

Whilst he has been out of the country I have received several thinly veiled threats to pay back this individual the money that he “borrowed” – basically threatening to withdraw his offer of “free rent” before actually formally withdrawing his offer.

This has all come to a head with a very official and to the point email that I have received this week stating that he and the property owner wish to carry out an inspection of the premises in order to right up contracts and we haven’t got a clue what to do.

It is my understanding that as there is no lease, the “landlord” has no right of entry; also again with no lease there is no forfeiture clause (we are withholding rent as we can’t keep paying cash with no proof of payment) and no LTA exclusion – and whilst we don’t want to antagonise the situation I don’t trust this individual as far as I could throw him.

There is much more that I won’t state in the open, but we do need some guidance if at all possible.

Many thanks in advance.

David

By rohan thomas on March 21st, 2016

hi there i have leased a place i have everything set up for salon i have registered as self employed is there anything else i need to do , like do i have to register with the council or anything of the sort
i want to do it all properly so i dont get in trouble

By Jack Stephenson on March 21st, 2016

Dear Rohan

Many thanks for your comment.

It would be helpful to see your lease and any other relevant documents before advising you fully. It may be the case that you need to make a planning permission application to the council for change of use. Even if the property was previously used as a hair salon, it could be worth double checking this point in case the previous occupiers have been operating without proper planning consent.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com in order to discuss this further.

Kind Regards

Jack Stephenson

By nisha patel on March 23rd, 2016

I am a landlord renting a commercial property to a Limited Company, they are in arrears for over 5 months now. We did make an arrangement whereby they can pay part of payment every week which the partners signed but now they wont pay saying their business not taking enough income.
Please advice n what to do now.

Thank you

By Bernie on March 31st, 2016

Hi, If I have a lease still in the names of the previous landlord of the building (who also owned the building) I rent, does the new landlord have any rights – do we need to sign a new lease?

By Kerry Southworth on April 4th, 2016

Dear David,

Many thanks for your comment.

You raise a number of interesting issues and before being in a position to provide you with any definitive advice, we would need to undertake a detailed review of the circumstances and apply the information gleaned from this review to the appropriate legal provisions to determine the basis upon which you occupy the property.

The rights which you benefit from will ultimately depend upon the basis of your occupation. We are able to provide to you for a fixed fee a written report which would set out our advice on the basis of your occupation and identify a strategy to achieve your objectives moving forward on the basis of that advice.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 258 321 or kerry.southworth@harrison-drury.com in order to discuss this further.

Kind Regards

Kerry Southworth

By Mike Morgan on April 6th, 2016

Hi,

I have a commercial licensing agreement with the landlord in a commercial premises. There are 90 units in the building and they are used for various purposes. The intended purpose of the units is for storage alone. However, these are used as offices mostly as well as accommodation (illegally). The landlord is here everyday and is fully aware of the situation. The place is serviced and the prices are close to those of actual business premises. Lately, the landlord has begun harassing us for various reasons such as electricity consumption (it is included in the price, however we have software that needs to run all night and we require 4 computers to be on. Admittedly, the landlord is very old and presumably suffers from age related illnesses. However that does not change the fact that he enters the unit whenever he pleases, he interrupts meetings I have with my clients and goes on tantrums and repeats himself on every occasion about how much he spends on the whole building every year and every month. He is very rude, harasses me with every occasion he gets with regards to the electricity, which I have offered, on more than one occasion to pay the difference from what he allotted up to what we have used. I have also offered to rent a unit that is three times more expensive only to get him off my back, he refused. However, he has now begun nitpicking and complaining about the fact that he doesn’t want my employees on the premises or smoking outside in the designated smoking areas because they are apparently “clustered” and that makes the building look bad. However, this is what everybody does but I believe he has a personal issue with me/us and my business. He furthermore has conversations with us about the situations: ie: employees conduct or business materials being stored within our unit or various objects that are stored(just to cite an example, he has an issue with the fact that we have a hob, an extendible sofa, a microwave and he wants these removed immediately we tell them that we will remove them within 2 weeks as we are having a very busy period and do not have the time to allocate to such trivial matters, he agrees and then barges in the next day to check whether we have removed them, this is extraordinarily frustrating). If I am evicted from this location, I want to ensure that the landlord also answers for the wrongs he has done me. If I cannot do it directly I will do it by blowing the whistle over the illegalities that go on in his building. How can I go about doing this?

Thank you henceforth,

Michael

By Sean on April 7th, 2016

Does the tenant of a commercially leased property have the right to prevent people on their premises?

By Jack Stephenson on April 8th, 2016

Dear Michael

Thank you for your response.

Before advising you, I would need to see a copy of the “licensing agreement”. If it is a “license”, the landlord to which you refer would actually be a “licensor”.

It is important to identify whether you occupy the property pursuant to a “license”, or if what you actually have is a lease. A lease grants a tenant a right to exclusive possession of a property for a determinable period of time. If a person has exclusive possession, they can exercise the rights of the landowner and effectively exclude both the landlord and other third parties from the property. It also provides a tenant with an inherent right to “quiet enjoyment” of the property. This means that a tenant will have possession of a property without interference or interruption from the landlord or anyone claiming under them.

Although you state that you have a “licensing agreement”, just because an agreement purports to create a license does not mean that it will be construed as such. The substance, as well as the form of the agreement, will determine whether it is a license or a lease.

If it is the case that you have a lease, this could provide you with additional protections including a statutory right to remain in the property at the end of the term.

Unfortunately I am unable to advise on this point without sight of the “licensing agreement”. I would also need you to provide more information regarding the circumstances by which you occupy the property.

With regard to blowing the whistle on the landlord’s “illegalities”, it could be worth speaking with your local council or Shelter in the first instance as I understand they assist tenants who are forced to live in unsuitable conditions.

However, ultimately I would need further information from you before confirming my advice. Please feel free to contact me on 01772 429 207 or jack.stephenson@harrison-drury.com in order to discuss this further.

Kind Regards

Jack Stephenson

By Jason on April 12th, 2016

Hi,
i would like some advice. My premises which I lease recently were broken in and some goods were stolen, reported to police. Problem is that I’m not insured, quotes i got prior burglary from insurance companies all required 3 point locking system on the doors which I did not have. So I asked landlord to change it and explained the reasons. Landlord greed to get back to me ASAP and also I was told that cost may be involved. I agreed to cover costs of changing locks (I can not change locks by myself because property has more units leased and all locks have master key). After our conversation 3-4 weeks later, burglary have happened and I lost equipment and other goods. simple question can i claim for loses from landlord due to negligence?

By Jamie on April 13th, 2016

Hello! I live in a resort town and out business is seasonal. We negoiated to double our payments when we closed for 3 months in the off season, for 3 month in the main season. Well, the main season TANKED our business and the landlord allowed us to sell it. He said we would get our deposit back (1500, one months rent) This was the beginning of Feb. He went out of town and the owner of the building came in and locked us out mid February. The landlord explained the situation. The purchase agreement was signed March 4th. The land lord made their lease for April 1st and now is holing us liable for Marches rent, instead of giving back our deposit. We paid the FULL amount of back rent ($9000), but now he wants 1500 for Mar- despite the fact that we were locked out in Feb and despite the fact that the purchase agreement was for Mar 4th. Should I get an attorney for this? Is this legal? I feel this is a bit petty, especially since the landlord sought me out at a diner during the month of March, after the purchase agreement was signed, to let me know that he WOULD be giving me back my deposit.

By Laura Brereton on April 14th, 2016

Dear Jamie,

Thanks for your query. Unfortunately we are only able to provide general advice in relation to the law of England and Wales so will be unable to give you any guidance on this matter.

I hope you manage to resolve the issue.

Kind regards,

Laura

By Robert Burn on April 15th, 2016

Dear Jason,

I am sorry to hear about the circumstances leading to your query. There is no simple answer to your simple question, but some further information would help us to advise you.

A number of issues come into play when determining a landlord’s liability for a tenant’s losses. To fully understand your position we would need to see various documents, particularly a copy of your lease and copies of any correspondence between you and your landlord about the locks.

If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me on 01772 429210 or robert.burn@harrison-drury.com.

Kind regards,

Robert Burn

By Sharon Dolan on April 15th, 2016

We rent an industrial unit and our lease expired in 2014. We did not re sign as we were aware our current landlords where in financial difficulty however, made a verbal agreement to continue to rent on an annual basis. The landlord has put the premises up for sale. We made an offer that was rejected. My query is regarding for sale signage. Firstly the for sale signage is out of proportion for the size of the building and within an hour of it going up I took a call asking if our business was for sale plus a visit asking could they look around. I had previously voiced my concern regarding signage with the Landlord. I believe the signage will have a negative effect on our business. Do I have any legal rights in this area.

By Chris couch on April 16th, 2016

We have a cafe which wasn’t in the land lord and tenancy act for the last ten years,we have been good tenants and even bought items from the landlord who is a food wholesaler,our problem
Started when I got a job with my landlords competition and our relationship detonates.
For the last three years we have recieved letters from him telling us that he was going to renew the lease closer to the end date,the final letter saying he wa mindful of giving us. A new lease.
Eventually he offered us a new lease for only two years,with a 10% increase,
We declined and gave him notice,he as since I found new tenants for my business,this is where our problem starts,we converted the building into a cafe,plumbing ,electrics etc,and he wants it left for his new tenant,he has said he will pay us some money for the alterations but will deduct anything after an inspection,basically he doesn’t want us to remove the electrics and plumbing and turn it back into a retail unit as we found it,we don’t trust him,and since we terminated the lease he has harassed us with letters and even sent so body to paint the building.we call it harassment,how can we deal with him,we have sent him a solicitors letter to leave us a lone,but it doesn’t seem to work.

By Betty Aurora on April 26th, 2016

When our 23 year lease expired in Sept 2014, we told the landlord that we were trying to sell our business. So we mutually agreed to save on legal fees and continue as per normal with us paying our monthly rental on the shop premises. Now we have found a buyer for our business who would like to sign a new lease with the landlord (who has no objections to doing so) but the landlord has turned nasty and insists that we have to pay him £800 in advance to cover the bulk of his legal fees in drawing up a new lease for our buyers and himself. The landlord also threatened that unless he receives the deposit in his solicitors bank account, he will NOT proceed to negotiate the new lease with our the buyers of our business. Please could you kindly comment on what rights we have as the outgoing tenants?

By Leila on May 9th, 2016

I purchased a beauty spa in a small shopping centre about 2 years ago. The business came with problems that took well over a year to resolve & run as a trusted spa again . The previous owner still had 2 years on her lease at the time of the sale. The landlord never issued a new lease as they were unhappy with sale as it was not an option as relief from outstanding lease . The landlord just let the lease run its remaining 2 years . The business struggled through this & is in arreas with rent .The lease is now coming to an end ,who is Liable to the landlord for the arrears as there was no new lease signed ? What recause does the landlord have ? The landlord has offered to move me to another part of the centre where the rent is cheaper , what can I negotiate on ? What should I be careful of in terms of the costs of the move & the arrears ? I’ll really appreciate your assistance ,

By belinda kgobane on May 13th, 2016

We have leased a property from the landlord for a fixed term of 5 years,the property was a warehouse and he renovated it according to our needs with the agreement with the landlord now,it is a butchery and resturant, and braai meat outside, now the land lord wants to run a salon in the very same place and this will affect our customers as they braai and eat outside the shop and the space outside is preserved for customers, can the the landlord use the space though initially we chose his property because of the space we liked?

By Jacob Walker on May 20th, 2016

Dear Leila

Thank you for your query.

Unfortunately I am unable to advise you without seeing a copy of the lease in question, as well as all documentation between yourself and the outgoing tenant relating to the purchase of the business two years ago.

In order to ascertain who is liable for the rental arrears, we will need to see whether the lease was in fact assigned to you. Generally, commercial leases contain provisions dealing with assignment of the lease, and it will be necessary to see what restrictions, if any, were placed on the outgoing tenant’s ability to assign the lease.

If the liabilities of the lease have been validly assigned to you, the landlord may have the right to pursue you for recovery of the arrears, which could include pursuing you through the Courts or instructing an enforcement agent to seize control of certain goods on the premises in satisfaction of the arrears under the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) procedure set out in the Tribunals Court and Enforcement Act 2007. However, there are a number of strict procedural rules that a landlord must follow in applying CRAR, including giving a tenant at least seven clear days’ notice before CRAR is exercised.

If the landlord has offered you alternative premises then it may be that they aim to maintain a commercial relationship with you, and so it seems unlikely that they would take the draconian measure of seizing control of goods at this stage, but this of course cannot be guaranteed and we would need further information from you before advising further.

In terms of negotiating a new lease for the alternative premises, we would always advise that you seek legal advice before entering into any commercial lease.

If you require further assistance we will need sight of the documentation referred to above. Please feel free to contact a member of our Property Dispute Resolution team on 01772 258 321 or Jacob.walker@harrison-drury.com in order to discuss this matter further.

Kind regards

Jacob Walker

By Tony Heggs on May 20th, 2016

Does a commercial freeholder have to keep service fee funds in a dedicated client account/client account by building or are they allowed to comingle funds with the freeholders general business account? If the former, is it just good practice or required by law?

regds

Tony Heggs

By orlando banag on May 24th, 2016

hello there i hope you could help us on this inquiry, we have lease a commercial property for small catering business for almost 5 years now and paid 2 months deposit before but this shop was sold to an auction 2 weeks ago, the new landlord said there was no communication between him and the previous landlord with regards to the deposit we made… is our deposit will be forfeited to this situation we have our contract clearly stating the said deposit and also he intend to raise the rent immediately do we have the right to argue with it, thank you any help will be very much appreciated.

orlando

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