20 year commercial tenant with no fixed term lease?

by Readers Question

8:16 AM, 6th March 2017
About 2 years ago

20 year commercial tenant with no fixed term lease?

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20 year commercial tenant with no fixed term lease?

Hi there. I have been a commercial tenant for 20yrs, but without a written lease. My original contract was for 1 year, but its ended up being there for 20 yrs.long term

The landlord now wishes me to have a proper lease. The issue is he wants to do a short term 1-3 yr renewable lease. The reason for this is he may wish to get me out in a few years and get a much higher rent with an A3 use (currently a clothing shop).

I want a longer term of at least 5 yrs but preferably 10yrs. where do I stand?

Thanks.
Tim



Comments

Sam Addison

12:02 PM, 6th March 2017
About 2 years ago

I suggest you take a copy of your original 1 yr lease to a solicitor because your rights will almost certainly be dependent on that lease and on other law which applies. This is a specialist area and you need specialist advice. Otherwise you should try negotiating with your landlord but remember that at the end of the day the property does belong to him and within the law he can do what he wishes.

Freda Blogs

12:19 PM, 6th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Do not sign a new agreement without taking advice from a solicitor/surveyor specialising in commercial property.

From what you have said you will almost certainly have acquired security of tenure under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 and if you were to sign a new agreement you would waive those (valuable) rights which give you an automatic right to renew your lease with few exceptions. My guess is that the landlord now realises this and wants to regularise the position in his favour.

A Chartered Surveyor can negotiate the terms of any deal for you, and the solicitor will enusre it is all properly documented.

Whereabouts in the country are you?

Neal Craven

20:41 PM, 6th March 2017
About 2 years ago

You are more than likely protected by the 54 Act, it's unlikely to be mentioned in the lease unless you had 'contracted out' i.e. Waived your rights which at that time would probably have required a court order. Assuming you are protected your agreement will continue until you or the landlord serves notice. If you want a new lease and can't agree terms the ultimate sanction is the court can decide the terms including market rent. The terms, including the lease length, will normally be based on your old lease, I think the maximum term the court can grant is14 years but would need to check. You should seek advice from a surveyor with the relevant experience (probably a member of RICS). You can trigger the renewal or wait for the landlord to do it, if it's the landlord he will need to give you between 6 and 12 months notice. You can contact me if you want to chat it over.

Richard Barca

9:54 AM, 11th March 2017
About 2 years ago

You can serve s26 Notice which will terminate your existing oral lease and give you the right to apply to the County Court for a new lease

You should take legal advice however as there are time limits


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