Commercial tenant refuses to leave

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  • #16
    Thanks for advises, been very comforting to know I have choices.


    • #17
      Wight Knight, Thank you for posting a link to my information. I think the link is to an old site. The up-todate guides I offer free may be found here -


      Re the op, it not enough to state in the lease that the tenancy is contracted out. A proper formal procedure must be complied with, including as another has said, serving notice before the lease is entered into.

      Since the tenant is under the impression she's there for "life" because you didn't comply with the proper procedure, I'd suggest instructing your solicitor to serve s25 notice opposing renewal on three non-compensatory grounds in the LTA54, s30, namely:

      (a) where under the current tenancy the tenant has any obligations as respects therepair and maintenance of the holding, that the tenant ought not to be granted anew tenancy in view of the state of repair of the holding, being a state resultingfrom the tenant’s failure to comply with the said obligations;
      (b) that the tenant ought not to be granted a new tenancy in view of his persistentdelay in paying rent which has become due;
      (c) that the tenant ought not to be granted a new tenancy in view of othersubstantial breaches by him of his obligations under the current tenancy, orfor any other reason connected with the tenant’s use or management of the holding;

      After the s25 notice is served, your solicitor should be instructed to apply to the court to get the (non) renewal proceedings underway. There is no certainty the tenant won't want to defend the claim but the cost to the tenant in going to court might be enough to deter. Also, even if proceedings are underway, it is still possible for the tenant's defence to be struck out if she doesn't comply with the court's timetable.

      Re the non-payment of rent, it doesn't have to be be for long. But it is vital that you write to her and make it clear in no uncertain terms that you require payment forthwith and if not forthcoming you will instruct bailiffs without further notice and then do so if she still doesn't pay. Otherwise the court could conclude that you have acquiesced to late payment.

      if the lease you've granted would be considered a business tenancy and assuming the tenancy would qualify for renewal rights then the 2 month notice to quit by you is of no consequence.

      With respect, by the sound of it, it doesn't come across that you know what you are doing so I really do think you should get advice from a solicitor experienced with business tenancy law. I appreciate that'll cost you but better that than be stuck with an awkward tenant for 'life'!


      • #18
        I've just skim-read the contents of the 'lease' (which I've done after posting yesterday my last comment).

        Since your 'lease' says the tenant has non-exclusive possession, why grant a lease in the first place? Why not simply grant a licence in which case the problem you are encountering re getting possession would not apply.

        Calling a document a lease or licence doesn't make it one. For occupancy, there are various tests to decide the difference between a tenancy and a licence. This 'lease' is a mix and mingle of the sort of of terms and conditions one would expect of one but not the other. Assuming you've used the same format for other lettings in the building, I rather suspect you've been lucky so far that other occupiers haven't been as awkward about their rights.

        A lease is simply the document, that is all. So the question is not whether it is a lease or a licence, but whether a tenancy or a licence. The next question is why sort of tenancy, one that would qualify for renewal rights or not. Unless the correct procedure for not qualifying for renewal rights is followed then by default the tenant would qualify for renewal rights.

        As I've said before I appreciate the preference for saving on costs but not if it increases the likelihood of problems. I have getting on for 46 years experience in commercial property and business tenancy advice and despite my vast knowledge of the subject I'd never dream of preparing a lease myself. Much better to get an experienced lawyer to draft it in terminology.

        Drafting a lease or agreement may look easy to do, copy this copy that, but there is a language to business tenancy law that if one doesn't speak, let alone understand, then the chances of coming a-cropper are increased.


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