Commercial Landlord and Tenant Law

Commercial landlord and tenant law is a particularly complex area with wide scope for difficulty if it is not handled carefully. For many businesses, taking on premises is the biggest investment they will make and it is essential to fully understand the liabilities that are involved.

A good landlord-tenant relationship that benefits both parties is important. By ensuring a solid legal foundation and maintaining good communication, difficulties can often be avoided. Where they do arise, it may be possible to negotiate a way around them so that the tenancy can continue profitably for everyone.

At Braddon & Snow, our commercial landlord and tenant team have in-depth experience across a range of sectors. We are expert negotiators and work with our clients to resolve problems quickly, with minimal disruption and before positions become entrenched.

Our services include the following:

  • Drawing up heads of terms
  • Drafting and negotiating commercial lease agreements
  • Lease assignments
  • Lease extensions
  • Lease renewals
  • Advising and negotiating in respect of security of tenure
  • Drafting licences to occupy
  • Advice on subletting
  • Dispute resolution

To discuss how we can help you with your commercial property needs, please call or email us:

Our commercial landlord and tenant advice services

Commercial lease advice

Having the right lease in place is crucial. It should be suitable not only for your immediate needs but for your potential future requirements as well, for example, if you are a tenant whose business could expand and change in nature over time.

We can work on your behalf to ensure that the commercial lease you take on is right for your needs and that you fully understand the liabilities you will be agreeing to. We can negotiate with the other party’s solicitors to make sure the deal is as favourable as possible for you.

Licence to occupy

If you need a licence to occupy a property while a full tenancy agreement is negotiated, we can draw up a licence agreement granting non-exclusive possession. It is particularly important for landlords to ensure that a licence is correctly drafted so that a full tenancy agreement conferring rights on the occupier is not inadvertently entered into.

We can make sure that your rights are protected and that any licence to occupy does not create a tenancy that could confer security of tenure.

Commercial lease extensions

Your commercial lease agreement may offer the option of an extension once the initial term of the lease has ended. There is a set procedure for extending a lease, including serving of notices and responses within specified time periods.

It is advisable to seek commercial landlord and tenant advice in respect of the extension to ensure that you understand the legal implications.

Alternatively, the lease may include the right to renew, which is slightly different to an extension and could be seen to renew certain rights offered in the original lease. By way of example, if the lease allowed the tenant to end the agreement during the first six months, a renewal could potentially implement this option again.

Ending commercial leases

Ending a commercial lease is not as simple as giving notice and walking away. A tenant may find themselves tied to premises for a number of years, which is why it is so important to fully understanding the implications of a commercial lease before signing.

If the lease contains a break clause, it can be ended without penalty. There will be a set notice period for this. A landlord can only implement a break clause if the tenant is in agreement.

As a tenant, you may be able to assign the lease or sublet if you no longer want to occupy the property yourself.

As a landlord, you can only end a commercial tenancy in a limited set of circumstances, including if you want to occupy the property yourself, if you want to develop the property or if you have leased the tenant part of the property and you could achieve a higher rent by leasing the whole premises together.

You may be able to forfeit the lease if the tenant commits a serious breach of their obligations, such as failing to pay rent.

Commercial landlord and tenant disputes

Disputes over commercial property can be extremely damaging as well as time-consuming. It is always advisable to seek legal advice as soon as you become aware of a disagreement. By stepping in early on your behalf, we can often resolve disputes quickly before they escalate.

Our team are experts in finding solutions to difficult problems and have an excellent track record of success in settling disputes for our clients without recourse to the courts.

We understand how important a good landlord-tenant relationship is and we will do all we can to ensure that difficulties are dealt with as amicably as possible.

For more information about our dispute resolution services, see Landlord and Tenant Disputes.

Our commercial landlord and tenant advice fees

We understand how important it is for landlords and tenants to have certainty with regard to costs as well as good value legal advice. We reflect this in our approach, doing everything we can to ensure costs are kept to a minimum and that our work for you is targeted and efficient.

Many commercial property matters can be dealt with on a fixed fee basis, depending on the complexity of the issues. We will always provide a clear cost estimate at the start and will let you know straight away if any exceptional circumstances arise which could change this.

Where any additional cost is likely, we will always agree this with you before starting work.

Find out more about our pricing.

Commercial landlord and tenant law explained

What responsibilities do commercial landlords have?

A commercial landlord has a statutory duty to ensure that the premises they are letting complies with health and safety laws, to include obtaining gas and electrical safety certificates and taking fire safety precautions.

The lease will set out many of the landlord’s other responsibilities, which often includes an obligation to repair and maintain the external and common areas of the property.

What rights do commercial tenants have?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 gives commercial tenants the right not to be evicted, known as security of tenure. This can be specifically excluded in the lease, but otherwise will apply to all commercial tenants.

Other tenant rights will be included within the lease.

Do commercial tenants have a right to extend their lease?

Security of tenure gives commercial tenants the right to renew the lease at the end of its term. If the terms of the new lease cannot be agreed with the landlord, then application can be made to the court for renewal.

We can advise you in respect of your rights as a commercial tenant and negotiate the renewal of your lease on your behalf to ensure that you receive the best deal possible.

If security of tenure does not exist, then there is no automatic right to renew the lease.

Can you end a commercial lease early?

If your lease contains a break clause, you can end the agreement in accordance with this. It is important to ensure that you follow the specified notice procedure or you may find yourself in breach of the terms of the lease.

The agreement can also be ended early by mutual agreement.

Landlords have limited opportunities to end a lease early, but can evict the tenant for non-payment of rent or breach of other lease clauses, provided they follow the correct process.

Our other commercial property services

Speak with our commercial landlord and tenant solicitors in Hoddesdon & Broxbourne

For a friendly, informal discussion with a member of our commercial property team about how we can help you, please get in touch:

What our clients say

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  • The best thing throughout this process was the professionalism shown by the Conveyancing Team at Braddon and Snow Solicitors, our case was handled by Melanie and her very able assistant Roksana.  Although we were frustrated and sometimes very ratty, they kept very calm and dealt with all of our enquiries and problems as they came along, most of all they kept us advised and up to date.  We in all honesty could not have asked for or been supported any better by these two Ladies. Towards the end, we were calling Roksana on a regular daily basis, and were delighted to hear her positive and cheerful friendly voice.  I would highly recommend these Ladies to anyone, unlike the Firm that they were dealing with, who would not even respond to their calls.