There are a lot of differences between residential and commercial landlord and tenant. If you rent a commercial property then you should be aware of your legal position and what you can do to protect yourself.
Here at Seatons, we can act for both landlords and tenants, and our team has a variety of experience and knowledge to ensure the best result for you with the minimum inconvenience.
Contact us to have a no obligation chat at our Corby office on 01536 276300 or Kettering 01536 311690 or use our online enquiry form.
Here at Seatons, we can also help landlords and tenants in a business setting. From drafting and negotiating the lease, disputes between landlords and tenants, or even terminating a business tenancy, we can assist you.
It is crucial to have even a written lease between a landlord and tenant for a commercial building. Usually leases are very in detail, with the aim of setting out both legal parties and their obligations. Commercial leases are very different to residential tenancy agreements.
A lease is long-term and binding. You cannot easily end or change a commercial lease. It is a very detailed legally binding contract and vast amounts of money are usually at stake. There is no standard form used with a commercial lease so any lease should be closely examined. However, there is more of a scope for the landlord and tenant to negotiate on matters.
Before a tenant agrees to a commercial lease, they should ensure the terms of the lease meet their business need. The amount of rent should be analysed, and it is usually advantageous to include a ‘rent review’ clause in case the local property values dip.
Many leases are for a long period of time – 10 years, 50 years or even 99 years. It is advisable for a start-up business to negotiate a short lease in case they come into hardship with keeping up with the rent. Any lease longer than 7 years has to be registered with the Land Registry which we can sort out for you.
If you are thinking of renting out a commercial space we can draft a lease to your best interests with a fast and efficient turn around. We can complete the legal matters including conveyancing if required.
If you already have a lease then we can review this for you and ensure that your commercial renting is to your advantage.
Either the landlord or tenant may feel that the other party is acting unreasonably. What happens if there is a dispute between landlord and tenant? The first thing is to check the terms of the lease which should clearly set out the obligations for the tenant and landlord.
The lease could detail the procedure should there be a dispute between the landlord and tenant. For example, if it is a dispute relating to a rent review, it is likely that the lease will state to obtain the professional opinion of an independent surveyor. There is also a Landlords Code, which although not law, should be followed by the landlord.
The common time for a dispute to arise, is when the lease has ended. The tenant may have informally agreed with the landlord to receive compensation when the lease ends if they made certain improvements to the property. The landlord may be unreasonable in relation to the deposit. Again, the first thing to do is check the lease. Anything agreed orally between the parties will struggle to be used as evidence so always keep any agreements between the parties in writing.
The procedure for removing a commercial tenant differs from the residential procedure. Business tenancies are protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 unless excluded in the lease.
The statutory protection prevents a business tenancy from being terminated in any way other than in accordance with the Act (with some exceptions of course). If there is a fixed term lease for the business tenancy and this has come to an end, the tenancy will continue on the same terms included within the lease.
For the lease to end (unless of course there has been a breach of the lease by either party) The landlord has to serve a Section 25 notice, or tenant a Section 26 notice depending which party wishes to end the lease. If it is the landlord wishing to end the business tenancy, he has to prove one of the specific grounds laid out in the Act.
Both parties should be aware that it is common for the lease to contain a provision that excludes the parties from the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 meaning the above does not apply.
Specialist Landlord Services
My name is Carol O’ Leary. I am a lawyer who specialises in landlord and tenant legal services. We aim to provide our clients with an outstanding legal service.
We will help and support you and most importantly we work hard for you.
Please contact us for a free, no obligation chat at either our Corby office on 01536 276300 or our Kettering office on 01536 311690 or contact us online.