As a business, it is important that you have some certainty in relation to where you are running your business from. Having established your business in a particular location, you don’t want to be in the position of being established one minute and then uprooted at the expiry of your lease.
It is therefore important that, as part of your business strategy, you give advance thought to and plan whether you intend to stay at the property on the expiry of the lease or if you intend to move.
Most commercial leases in the UK are covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and, broadly speaking, depending on how the lease was originally worded, you either have security of tenure at the expiry of the lease or you have ‘opted out’ of the provisions that allow you to remain in the property at the end of the lease.
If you haven’t opted out, you have a right to have the lease renewed on similar terms, but you need to follow a statutory process in order to exercise that right of renewal. Sometimes it may be tactically beneficial for you to do nothing and continue your occupation until you are ready to exercise that right. This might be for economic reasons. Alternatively, it may be in your interests to exercise your right earlier rather than later, again for economic reasons — maybe because of a downturn in the rental market, which means that you may want to renegotiate a lower rent as soon as possible.
Whether it’s advice on whether to trigger the statutory renewal process or negotiating the terms of a new lease, we can guide you through the complex process of drafting and serving notices, dealing with opposed and unopposed renewals, and negotiating rent in any interim period before the new lease is granted.
Alternatively, as a landlord you may want to redevelop the property; in those circumstances, we can advise you on how to do this so that the tenant’s right to renew is not exercised or, if exercised, is unsuccessful.
There are lots of tactical considerations to which thought needs to be given. We can hold your hand throughout the process, and give you guidance on how to proceed, having regard to your ultimate end goal.