Portcullis Property Lawyers

Traditional Values with a Modern Approach

Lease Renewals

This is one area where good  professional advice can make a difference - whether you are  a Landlord or a Tenant. 

What does happen when a lease comes to an end? The legislation is very different  for commercial and residential leases. If it is a residential long term lease then please look under the  leasehold extensions and enfranchisement heading. If it is a residential  property let on an assured shorthold tenancy then  the process is straight forward, but this is not always the case for commercial leases.

On a commercial lease the first point to check is whether the lease falls within the security of tenure provisions set out in Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

If  the lease does have security of tenure  and no notices have been served  then the lease simply continues on the same terms as before with the parties "holding over" under the  terms of the original lease. However is that what you want?

As a Landlord if the Tenant is simply "holding over" there is much less certainty, as the Tenant can simply give three months notice to terminate the lease at any time. If there is a mortgage secured on the property, the investment value is reduced  if a tenant is simply "holding over" and there could be difficulty refinancing a loan.

In our experience most tenants seek flexibility whilst Landlords seek certainty, how can those two interests be accomodated?

If the lease does not have security of tenure  then the  Landlord should check the lease and make enquiries as to whether a tenant wants to stay and if so negotiate a new lease. If the tenant is not prepared to sign a new lease then the Landlord should check whether the tenant has complied with its obligations under the lease, arrange a schedule of dilapidations and advise immediately if the tenant does not vacate. If the tenant fails to vacate then the landlord should insist on a temporary lease being put in place or for a new lease to be agreed within a definite time scale. If the occupation of the tenant is not properly documented there is a risk that the occupation of the tenant is converted to a periodic tenancy and the landlord could be in a very different position to that originially contemplated

If the lease is to be renewed then  what changes need to be made?

  •         Have any improvements been  made to the property by the tenant or the landlord ?
  • Are any upgrades required to the property during the  new term?
  • What about any dilapidations?
  • Has there been any new legislation which should be taken into account?

We have experienced solicitors who know the right questions to ask and  will work to protect your interest whether acting for a landlord or a tenant 

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E-mail: advice@portcullispropertylawyers.co.uk

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