Under this heading we are primarily referring to the termination or renewal of business leases. Part 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 remains the main source of the law affecting leasehold commercial property.
A business lease (as defined in the Act) does not end on the term date stated in the lease nor, in the case of a periodical lease, can it be terminated by notice. Apart from surrender or forfeiture, the only way in which such a lease can be brought to an end is by following the rules set out in the Act.
We will advise you on:
- How and when a business tenancy can be terminated
- The processes for renewal of business tenancies with particular attention to strict time limits
- Court proceedings including interim rent applications
- Compensation payable to tenants who have not been able to renew
- Where a new lease is to be granted, the terms of such a lease.
- Rent reviews both in terms of drafting in new leases and in implementation.
Very often the appointed property agents for the parties will have agreed heads of terms before we get instructions but it remains a vital part of our work to achieve the objectives of the party for whom we act and to make sure that they are advised of the risks and advantages of whichever course of action they chose. Experience and diligence counts.
This is particularly so when faced with rapidly changing market conditions and the needs of both landlords and tenants to have increased flexibility to match their business needs. At the same time, landlords need to appreciate that a poorly drafted or negotiated lease may have a substantial effect on the marketability and value of their property interests and tenants need to take into account the extent to which a burdensome lease may create real problems for cashflow and profits.