Landlord refuses to give deposit back short term commercial lease?

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  • Landlord refuses to give deposit back short term commercial lease?

    1. We had short term commercial lease contract for a live and work space warehouse.
    2. During tenancy Boiler not working on and off various periods for a total of 51 days.
    3. Landlord never repaired boiler properly so ongoing disputes about this during tenancy.
    4. In the end he tells us that we can leave early if we don’t like it.
    5. He agrees in writing (have email) that we could leave 2 months early.
    6. Due to boiler still not working properly I withhold rent. Then he fixes boiler but now too late.
    7. After we moved out (and I paid all rent at the end even though late) so landlord has had ALL of his rent paid, he claims he is repossessing the unit under terms of the lease and now demanding another month and a half rent till unit paid again and all sorts of extra costs making his total claim more than double my deposit.
    8. I have been to see a solicitor at the law centre (after being referred to by the Citizens Advice Burea) and they think I have a case to fight, but they don’t specialise in commercial leases.
    9. I have asked for my deposit back many times and he refuses this and claims he is coming after me for all this money.
    10. Where do I go next please?

  • #2
    A lease will state what the landlord and you can and cannot do. For example, most leases (but not necessarily yours) prohibit set-off, that is withholding rent because of something the landlord should do but hasn't done. Generally, a business tenant is not entitled to return of overpayment of rent where the tenancy has been ended/terminated early unless stated in the lease or agreed as part of the early ending.

    You say the landlord agreed you could leave 2 months early and that you moved out. In which case surely the landlord has possessed the unit.

    As for the rent deposit, again that's a question of what the rent deposit deed/agreement says.

    On the face of it, the landlord agreed you could leave 2 months early and you did. Unless something else was agreed as regards the overpayment of rent and rent deposit i cannot see what grounds either you or both parties have for claiming more rent/costs or (depending upon the terms and conditions of rent deposit deed its return of the deposit.

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    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.

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