Help! No lease after trading for 13yrs. What are my rights?

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    Help! No lease after trading for 13yrs. What are my rights?

    I rent a commercial unit from my Landlord who has a long Lease for the whole building from the Freeholder.

    Thirteen years ago I took hold of a lock up shop and started trading.

    Whilst I'd spent spent on renovations and a shop fit it transpired that my Landlord did not have the right to sub let the premises. Their Lease was set out that they should have the building but not sub let.

    After a few years the Freeholder agreed to the subletting and gave a ten year fixed term that expired a year ago.

    I didn't know this until a month ago and my Landlord didn't tell me and no lease had been drawn up between us.

    The Freeholder has asked my Landlord for a £10,000 premium to grant a further Lease so that they can sublet to myself. My Landlord is refusing and the Freeholder is constantly putting pressure on me by saying they will take matters further to make my company vacate the property.

    Do I have any rights for being there for the past thirteen years and what can I do to obtain a lease? I've paid my rent and the Freeholder is still accepting my Landlords rent.

    My Landlord has in the past offered Leases that I still have but never been signed because I never knew the Freeholder granted permission to sub let my unit.

    I'm looking to sell on the business but don't know the way forward.

    Please advise.

    #2
    How long does the lease to your landlord have to run?

    Was the ten year lease contracted out of Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954?

    Comment


      #3
      My Landlord currently has fourteen years left on his Lease. I think it was contracted out of the Part II but I'll need to double check. His amendment granted to sublet but no longer than 10 years.

      Thank you for helping so far.

      Comment


        #4
        I think it was contracted out of the Part II but I'll need to double check.

        If it was contracted out:

        When did it expire?

        Have you been negotiating with your landlord for a new lease?

        Have you been paying rent since the expiry?

        Comment


          #5
          His lease with the Freeholder allowing him to sublet expired in 2014.

          I am trying to negotiate a lease with my Landlord but it's down to the Freeholder to agree too. As the Freeholder is requesting £10k to grant a new term and my Landlord is refusing it's leaving me stuck in the middle.

          The Freeholder has been accepting my Landlords rent and my Landlord is accepting my rent too.

          Comment


            #6
            I think I need some clarifaction, please. In your first post you say your landlord has a long lease. In your last post you seem to be suggesting that it ran out in 2014. Are you referring to the licence to grant you a lease to expire in 2014? Is the freeholder asking for £10k to grant a new lease to your landlord or for a licence for him to grant a new lease to you?

            Comment


              #7
              Sorry, I've not been clear in my last message.

              My Landlord has a lease for the whole building. Two flats and a commercial ground floor unit. He has a lease with the Freeholder that expires in 2030. In the original lease he was not allowed to sublet the commercial unit but did to myself. After finding out the Freeholder grated an amendment to the head lease and gave him permission to sub let my unit for a period of no longer than ten years maximum that has expired in 2014.

              Now this amendment lease has expired from the head lease the Freeholder is indeed asking asking my Landlord for the £10k premium to grant him a new liecence to sub let my unit.

              Comment


                #8
                It sounds like you may have a secure tenancy with 1954 protection. The freeholder accepted the position some time ago when they should have forfeited your landlord's head lease and tried to evict you. When they accepted the position they should have insisted you enter into a formal agreement with security explicitly excluded, to not do so created what appears to be a secure lease no matter what they call it.

                You will have to serve on your “competent” landlord a notice under section 26 of the 1954 Act, if they won't agree a lease you apply to a Court to order the term that will apply. Since the Freeholder accepted the situation then your landlord remains your competent landlord for service of such notice because their own interest has more than 14 months left.

                The £10k premium is a red herring in that situation, it is not your concern.

                If a lot of what I say sounds technical, that is because it is. Don't wait for events to happen, get yourself good representation before they all start doing silly things like trying to change locks and evict you unlawfully and you need an injunction to get back in.
                Anything I say here should not be taken as legal advice. I am an experienced litigation lawyer with over 15 years experience.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you kindly for a very clear and knowledgable reply to this matter I'm facing. I really appreciate your time and efforts and sound advice.

                  You've given me hope in a tricky situation and I now have a goal to achieve, thank you again.

                  I've instructed a good firm of Solicitors (I hope!) and they are looking into the matter.

                  My lack of knowledge and concern at the moment would be that the ultimatum lies with the Freeholder to give permission to grant my Lease. If I go through the correct process and my Landlord and I agree on a Lease, can the Freeholder object to giving permission to such and cause further litigation issues because of not receiving the £10k?

                  I understand in your reply about the Freeholder accepting the situation and still accepting the rent but would like to ask the question please.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If your solicitor is good then they should be able to explain all of this; I would have done so already as this is second nature inbuilt knowledge.
                    Anything I say here should not be taken as legal advice. I am an experienced litigation lawyer with over 15 years experience.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The following questions are important as the answers may have a bearing on the position:

                      Is your underlease contracted out?

                      Have you been negotiating with your landlord for a new lease?

                      Have you been paying rent since the expiry of your underlease?

                      Comment

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