evicting a tenant who has not signed a lease

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    evicting a tenant who has not signed a lease

    hi there I was wondering if anyone can shine some light on the situation listed below as i am at my wits end with this one

    I have a commercial hairdresser who is occupying a commercial property and has been in the premises for 20 years so she has been a very good tenant albeit problematic. In February 2017 a new lease was written and presented to her for signing to extend her tenancy for a further 5 years. A 10% rental increase was placed on the lease and the tenant agreed in principle to continue the lease based on the terms and conditions contained within it.

    She moaned about the 10% increase in the rent and other things contained within the lease and did not sign the lease after one month, two months, 6 months and even now in mid February one year later has not signed the lease even after continuous requests to do so. She is however still paying the rent albeit at the old rate prior to the 10% increase being stated in the new lease back in February 2017.

    From the 1st February 2018 i have served the tenant notice to leave the property and my solicitor has told me that this can only take effect after 6 months. Is this correct as if she wanted to leave of her own accord she would only need to give me 1 months notice? Is there some way I can remove her from the property before the six month notice period is up seeing that she has not signed a lease for 1 year?

    She has ignored all correspondence given to her from the 1st January 2018 and is not replying to any correspondence now from my solicitor.

    Your feedback would be greatly appreciated

    Tony

    #2
    Sounds to me like your tenant has rights under the '54 Act. She would have to serve a quarters notice, you would have to serve a hostile S25 if you wanted to bring it to an end. I'd listen to your solicitor - that's what you're paying them for.
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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      #3
      Assuming the tenant has LTA54 rights, she is not obliged to sign any new lease that has been 'agreed' without involving LTA54 procedures. As s25 notice was served 1 February 2018, and presupposing the wording of the notice is valid in all respects, she must apply to court before the 6 end date (presupposing 6 months notice) in the notice (or in due course agree with you an extension to the end date) or lose her LTA54 rights. Meanwhile, the old rent continues to be payable. Her ignoring correspondence from your solicitor is of no consequence, she is not obliged to communicate her intention in advance.

      If you want to the force the pace then ask your solicitor to apply to court, as is the landlord's right. That would flush out the tenant's intention because if she doesn't defend the claim she would have no legal right to remain in occupation.

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        #4
        Personally speaking, a 20 year tenant is worth keeping despite being problematic especially if she's up to date with her rent, is a 10% increase really worth losing her?
        Your next tenant my prove to be problematic and that's providing you do get a tenant, if you don't your stuck without regular payments and may have to pay the dreaded business rates until you find a tenant, points worth considering and some times better the devil you know :-)

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          #5
          Presumably the lease is a Full Repairing and Insuring Lease where the tenant is responsible for repairs.
          I was once a tenant and the landlord a professional Chartered Surveyor and I learnt a lot.

          You should have a Chartered Surveyor do a Schedule of Dilapidations on the property, and if any repairs are needed your tenant is notified of the work and that if it is not done you will have it done and charge the tenant.
          (It was once explained to me that where a tenant occupies Business Premises and the tenant is responsible for repairs the landlord has the right to expect that when the tenant vacates that the premises should be suitable for a new tenant to occupy without having to do any repairs at all)
          I noticed that in one of my leases that if I had a Schedule of Dilapidations done I was able to charge the tenant for the cost and in one case the figure by a Chartered Surveyor was £2000 plus Vat, which was perhaps one of the reasons the tenant left without fighting the Notice to Quit.
          Also have an Electrical Safety Inspection done.

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