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Commercial landlord & tenant

Frequently asked questions

I am the landlord of a commercial property. My tenant is constantly late paying rent, the lease has 7 months left to run and I want the tenant out, should I take action now or let the lease expire?
Ordinarily if the lease is not terminated the tenant can continue to hold over on the same terms of the existing lease.
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 the tenant is also entitled to renew the lease. You should take legal advice on either serving notice on your tenant relying upon the discretionary ground of non payment of rent to bring the lease to an end at the end of the term, or on terminating the lease early, should you have sufficient grounds.

I am a tenant occupying business premises under a 15 year lease. My landlord has just served notice upon me explaining that my rent is due to increase by £5,000 per annum. Can the landlord do this?
It depends upon the terms of your lease. It is common under longer term leases for there to be a mechanism for the rent to increase at set times, usually in the line with the current market rent. You should consult the lease, and seek advice if unsure. Depending upon the current rent paid a £5,000 increase could be excessive and you may wish to get a valuation carried out by a surveyor to see if it is reasonable.

I have been presented with a lease to sign, which makes my business responsible for all repairs to the property. The roof is in bad state and may only last another 2 years before requiring replacement. What can I do?
You should seek advice on the terms of the lease before signing it. It is possible that you can limit your repairing obligations, and exclude the roof from the repairs, but the lease should be appropriately drafted.

I am the owner of commercial premises, which I use as a warehouse and have done for 20 years. I have used the land neighbouring the warehouse for many years, which I use for taking deliveries and storage. The area is gated and can be accessed by only me. Is the land mine even though it is not registered under my title?
You may have a right to claim possessory title of the land by making an application to HM Land Registry. This will depend much upon the use of the land over the 20 years you have been in the warehouse.

I am holding over under my lease, and have found new premises to move to. As I have no current lease in place can I just leave and hand my keys back?
No. You are required to formally terminate your tenancy if you are holding over under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1984. You must serve 3 months notice, and should be careful to ensure that the landlord has received the notice. It is good practice to hand deliver or send recorded delivery the notice to ensure safe delivery.