Section 25 extension request

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    Section 25 extension request

    My tenants' solicitors have requested an extension to the S.25 Notice served last Autumn for the 5 years lease which ends on 21st April to the June 24th Quarter date and then to begin a new 5 years lease. Last Summer I allowed the tenants to use the deposit towards the rent (because of enforced lockdown and inability to trade) and there is now nothing left; they have however continued to pay the rent monthly in advance and there are no arrears.

    I think their request is in order to perhaps have time to raise a quarters rent as the new deposit. I have no objection to their continuing to pay rent monthly and will write it into the new lease. I have suggested the tenants add £100 a month so that by the end of year three of the lease there is a quarters rent built up rather then having to find a lump sum. They have been tenants now for 10 years and I have a decent rapport with them and am happy to accommodate any reasonable requests. However I can't see any advantage (to me) in extending the S.25 Notice. Opinions please.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

    #2
    The right for the parties to agree to extend the end date in a s25 notice avoids the tenant having to make application to court before the end date in the notice to protect renewal rights which means also case management proceedings. If you as the landlord refuse, 'it is not obligatory to agree, then the tenant would make its application to protect renewal rights which would result in your having to pay legal costs for engaging in the case management proceedings or arranging a stay. Unless a landlord wants to play hardball, requests for extensions are normally agreed.

    Whether your request is for the reason you think, the tenant (c/o the solicitor) may have other ideas, for example planning to relocate, in which case if the end date were extended then the tenant would not need to protect renewal rights only to then serve notice of discontinuance of proceedings which would require it to pay your costs; another example the tenant has changed its mind about renewing and needs more time.

    Generally, extension are granted for 3 months at a time, sometimes 6 months, and any number of extensions can be granted. Avoiding the need for court proceedings minimises costs, also it enables the tenant to control the pace of negotiations. (There is of course nothing to prevent a landlord from issuing the claim at any time, regardless of the extension end date: such would flush out the tenant's intention.)

    If you refuse the request then that would flush out the tenant's intention because if the tenant is serious about renewing then it would have two make application to the court. However, application (claim) is not necessarily indication of wanting to renew. the tenant could withdraw at any time. The only certainty of a renewal is on completion of the renewal lease.

    Using rent deposits to pay the rent without the deposit being topped up by the amount(s0 withdrawn is risky. A landlord is not obliged to take the risk and many do not.



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      #3
      Thank you very much for your considered response. The tenants have too much of an investment not to want to renew the lease having spent the best part of £25K refurbishing and fitting out the property 10 years ago. They also might want to purchase the freehold a some future juncture. An application to any court at the moment appears to be futile as there is such a delay in anything being considered as to be meaningless. I will be granting the tenants a new lease and they have agreed to do so and waive the S25 extension request.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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