Commercial rent review tenant hiding?

Commercial rent review tenant hiding?

8:58 AM, 13th June 2018, About 4 years ago 5

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I have a commercial property with a Lease which, for historic reasons, provides for an annual rent review. The rent has not been increased for many years (my decision).

This year the tenant verbally agreed an increase with the Chartered Surveyor/Valuer appointed by me, but now refuses to answer his emails, texts, voicemails or letters asking for the rent increase agreement to be signed and implemented.

Does this constitute a breach of the Lease? What would be the next step?
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.



Neil Patterson View Profile

9:01 AM, 13th June 2018, About 4 years ago

Hi Nancy,

Maybe a stupid question, but as it is a commercial property have you been round to try and find and speak to the tenant?

Nancy Metz

10:08 AM, 13th June 2018, About 4 years ago

Hi Neil
Not a stupid question at all!
However it’s not a case of the tenant having gone missing, but simply refusing to answer any and all communications. Emails and texts have been read, Recorded Delivery letters signed for. I appointed the agent to establish a fair rent increase and because the tenant had become extremely difficult and would not engage with me. Now he won’t engage with my agent either.

Graham Bowcock

16:37 PM, 13th June 2018, About 4 years ago

Dear Nancy
Seeing as you sensibly took on the services of a chartered surveyor, it would probably be best to ask him (or her) how best to proceed. It is likely that the lease specifies how a rent review is to be undertaken, with timescales and a process for mediation or arbitration. You will need to ensure that all processes within the lease have been followed correctly.

It is clearly unfortunate that your tenant will not engage sensibly with you, so you might have to put some pressure on him to do so. Ultimately you may have the right to forfeit.

There are no standard leases unfortunately, hence the advice to get your surveyor to tell you how best to proceed.

Good luck

Ian Narbeth View Profile

9:45 AM, 14th June 2018, About 4 years ago

Hi Nancy
You write: "This year the tenant verbally agreed an increase with the Chartered Surveyor/Valuer". That is normally sufficient to SETTLE the review, i.e. the tenant cannot resile from the agreed figure. It is common to RECORD the agreed increase with a rent review memorandum but the review is still effective even if no memorandum is signed. It can be prepared by your solicitor (an experienced surveyor should also be able to do this as it is a single page document).
When the next payment of rent is due you should invoice the tenant at the new rate and should also send them the memorandum in duplicate signed on your part and in a covering letter ask the tenant to sign and return one part.

Nancy Metz

11:45 AM, 14th June 2018, About 4 years ago

Thanks for the very helpful comments. I feel better informed now to have a useful discussion with the Surveyor/Valuer about where we go from here.

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