Mixed use, Commercial law help needed!

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    Mixed use, Commercial law help needed!

    Advice needed, please.

    We recently took our l/l to court for non-protection of deposit. To cut a long story short, the court dismissed the case on the grounds that the tenancy was of mixed use class due to use also renting a shop on the side of the house (in the extension) therefore commercial rules apply and commercial deposits don't need to be protected which is fair enough.


    I need advice on what happens now though, we have only signed tenancy agreements for a residential AST obviously this is now valid and our fixed term has come to an end. The landlord still wants us out but is going down the route of accelerated possession on section 21. The landlord set the wheels in motion before the judge ruled this is a mixed use tenancy but the l/l still maintains that this will get us out. However, the section 21 is invalid anyway.


    So what happens now?

    We have no contract to refer to for rules for eviction and so on. Will this just be classed as a verbal agreement?

    I assume we are protected by the landlord tenant act 1954?

    Does this mean he will have to issue a section 25?

    If it does involve a section 25 will this give us 6 months notice?

    Sorry for all the questions but we don’t even know the basics like how this will affect us and how much time we now have.

    The landlord also says since our AST end date has passed (31/07/17) we are now residing here Illegally? Is this true or do we now need another notice to leave?


    He also says all contact now will be through his solicitor and only to contact them, which he will in return bill us for! Can he do that?

    Any information would be of great help, thank you.





    #2
    The information you have provided is not enough to go on. You say you have an AST on the residential but an AST cannot include business premises (the shop). So is the shop on a separate lease? If not then with a mixed user building (residential/commercial) one would expect the tenancy to be a business tenancy, in which case why are you and/or the landlord assuming it is residential?

    If it is and by the sound of it quite probably a business tenancy, then either you could give s26 notice to request a new tenancy to start from a date not less than 6 months or more than 12 months from the date of the notice, or the landlord should serve s25 notice (minimum 6 months notice, max 12 months) and if he wants to out then the notice should oppose renewal on at least one of the grounds for opposition stated in Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. (Even if you give s26 notice, the landlord could oppose renewal.)

    Since you say the tenancy agreement is for a fixed term, why do you also say "no contract to refer to" and "verbal agreement".

    As for you having to pay the landlord's legal costs, that's a nonsense. Costs of Leases Act 1958.

    ---

    Disclaimer. Please note: I specialise in rent review and business tenancy advice but I am not a lawyer and not qualified to provide legal advice. The information (including comments, suggestions, and answers to questions - all of which is based on the law in England and Wales) I contribute to this forum and elsewhere on LandlordZone is not intended to be legal advice and is for educational purposes only. Generally, advice concerning business tenancies can only be considered on its merits, having regard to all the facts and circumstances. A questioner may omit information that is thought irrelevant but which an experienced adviser would need before being able to advise. Before acting on or relying in any way on information I contribute, you should seek detailed advice from your lawyer and/or your own advisers.

    Comment


      #3
      It is arguable that you have security of tenure and can thus claim a lease. The mixed use will be looked at as a fact and degree test. Section 23(1) of the LTA 1954 makes it clear the tenant’s occupation does not necessarily need to be exclusively for business purposes. It is sufficient if the occupation is for business purposes “and other purposes”. It has been held that a shop with residential accommodation above used by the tenant as his home will be a business tenancy (Broadway Investment Hackney Ltd v Grant [2006] ). Whether this is the case for you will come down to a matter of fact and degree, if there is too little business use it may be seen as too incidental and this not have protection.

      On costs, the costs of any litigation will be for the court to decide (in the absence of any agreement between you), the costs of the lease itself are again subject to whatever you are willing to agree but otherwise there is no automatic right for the landlord that arises. It has been a while since I have seen reference made to 1958 Act because it is routine that each side pays their own costs of the new lease , but that 1958 Act is still operative.

      It appears you may need to serve a section 26 request to put the cat amongst the pigeons and see what the landlord then does.

      Regards
      Anything I say here should not be taken as legal advice. I am an experienced litigation lawyer with over 15 years experience.

      Comment


        #4
        So sorry for the delay I have been away and had no internet at all.

        Thank you for the replies and sorry it's a bit vague. We rent a house and it has an extension on the side of the original house and within the extension is a shop that we also rent. When we first moved here I personally asked for 2 separate contracts just to make it easier to send my account the information regarding the rent. The shop and the residential part were put on 2 separate AST's with the shop stating it was for the commercial part of the house. However, now that a judge has ruled that it's classed as mixed use we have to follow business rules.

        With the help of google, I can across security of tenure. I'm not 100% sure if we have it or not as it maybe now classed as a verbal contract or a contract at will? I don't know. Anyway, I have served a section 26 to the landlord in the hope that it will buy us more time. I know he really wants to be back in here for whatever reason. If he wants it so bad we will leave but only when we find suitable accommodation for us. At the same time, I would happily stay here as well.

        I'm grateful for the advice and just hope I have done the right thing. I hope at the worst I have just bought it a bit more time and the right house becomes available for us.

        Just out of interest, does anyone know what will happen if he tries to sell? He has had it up for sale for the last month but I believe it's just another tactic to get us out quicker. I have read so much recently regarding commercial law and it's all a bit of a blur now. Am I right in thinking that he will have to offer it to us first before putting it on the open market? I have never thought about buying it before as I didn't think I would be able to raise the funds but after a chat with family members, I may now be able to.

        Also the contract we had even though it probably wasn't worth the paper it was written on has now expired as of 31/07/17

        Thanks again for looking and taking the time to reply.

        Comment

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