Unexecuted new commercial licence. Valid?

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    Unexecuted new commercial licence. Valid?

    Hi all you good people out there. We need your urgent help.

    I work with a small charity in London. Our 5-year lease of our existing premises expired on 6 August 2009. It was done through solicitors and the lease was contracted out of protection of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

    Just before the expiry of the lease, Landlord offered us a 2 year licence and we began to negotiate with them on this basis. In September 2009 the new licence was sent to us for approval. The rent was increased and there were a number of other new terms added. The licence was for a 2 year duration from 7 August and the notice period for termination on the landlord side was 4 months. The licence stated that we would share use of the premises with the landlord, although in fact this was not the case in practice.They sent us invoices for the new licence fee which we;ve paid monthyl in advance to date.

    By February 2010 all terms had been agreed and on 24 February 2010 we wrote to the landlord confirming that the draft licence was approved and asking for the original so that we could sign it. We didn’t hear from the landlord so we called them a month later to ask what was going on. They said they were writing for their solicitors to send them/us the licence for signature.

    Then at the end of May out of the blue they served us a two months notice to quit stating that they had found a new tenant who they like and therefore will not be proceeding with the new licence. We've tried to negotiate with them to allow us a few months (3-4) so we can find alternative but they've refused so notice expires end of this week.

    What rights do we have if any, to remain in the premises even though the new licence had not been executed? Is the notice period given to us sufficient under law?

    Thank you.

    #2
    From 7 August 2009, after the old lease expired, T has effectively had an oral lease. Calling it a Licence makes no difference, unless there are special factors not yet disclosed. So L has become lumbered with a new letting WITHIN Part II of the 1954 Act! If that's accurate, this can be ended only by a s.25 Notice- certainly not what L has served! Take immediate detailed advice from your solicitor and resist L's demand for possession.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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      #3
      Unexecuted new commercial licence. Valid?

      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      From 7 August 2009, after the old lease expired, T has effectively had an oral lease. Calling it a Licence makes no difference, unless there are special factors not yet disclosed. So L has become lumbered with a new letting WITHIN Part II of the 1954 Act! If that's accurate, this can be ended only by a s.25 Notice- certainly not what L has served! Take immediate detailed advice from your solicitor and resist L's demand for possession.
      Thanks for coming back so quickly.

      Does it make a difference to the position that the landlord on 7 August 2009 sent us a letter stating that although the lease had expired we could continue to stay in the premises under an infromal arrangement until the new licence is sent to us, and that this does is not intended to creat a landlord and tenant relationship? As you aware we then did not receive the new licence until October 2009.

      Comment


        #4
        I'd have thought that payment/receipt of rent (after expiry of a contracted-out lease) indicate a new (oral) lease.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Unexecuted new commercial licence. Valid?

          Thanks for the information, much appreciated.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by king175 View Post
            Does it make a difference to the position that the landlord on 7 August 2009 sent us a letter stating that although the lease had expired we could continue to stay in the premises under an infromal arrangement until the new licence is sent to us, and that this does is not intended to creat a landlord and tenant relationship?
            That is on a par with saying: I may cut people's hair for a living but it does not mean I am a hairdresser. Maybe not quite, but nearly. The sort of situation you are in is by no means uncommon and it is not always possible to say precisely what the arrangement is. What is said has some bearing on the situation, but what is often more important is what is done. If a landlord wishes to ensure that no statutory security of tenure arises at the end of a contracted out tenancy he really ought to make sure that it is followed quickly by another one. Whilst time is not the only factor, the longer the landlord delays the more chance the tenant has of arguing that his continued presence can only be explained by there being a tenancy.

            In your case I think your position is strengthened because the landlord was not proposing a new contracted out tenancy, but an arrangement that purported to be a licence but which subsequent events have shown could not have been a licence because you have had de facto exclusive occupation.

            What you need to do is to insist that you have the protection of Part ll of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and await the landlord's next move.

            Comment

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