At Liverpool Legal we understand that there are pressures surrounding business leasing, our aim is to reduce them and give sound, no-nonsense advice to ensure you make the right decision for your business. Our specialist business solicitor Matthew Wilson answers some frequently asked questions about business leasing.
Q. If my lease term ends, do I have to vacate the premises?
A. Generally no, unless you agreed with your landlord at the outset that you would not automatically be granted a new tenancy at the end of the term.
Q. Do I need a new lease?
A. No, you can continue to occupy under the same terms of the existing lease.
Q. If I am offered a new lease, should I take it?
A. If you want greater protection, then yes, but if the new lease has unacceptable different terms, then no. It is always sensible to discuss your options with a specialist solicitor who may be able to advise you on the terms of your new lease.
Q. My landlord wants to increase my rent, can he?
A. If there is no rent review clause within your lease the landlord must serve a notice, which has a minimum period of 6 months, telling you when your current tenancy will end and the proposed rent for the next tenancy. If you do receive a notice, it is important to seek advice from a specialist in the area.
Q. I have just received a notice from my landlord, what should I do?
A. There are two types of notice; one offers a new tenancy on particular terms which are contained within the notice, and the other seeks to terminate your occupation.
There are strict time limits for you to respond to all notices, so you should not ignore them. Contact a landlord and tenant solicitor straight away.
Q. I want to leave my premises, can I just walk away?
A. No, some leases allow you to end your occupation early but otherwise you are liable for rent, etc, for the full term of the lease.
Q. I know of someone who wants to take over my business, what should I do?
A. You can sell the goodwill of your business and ask your landlord to transfer the lease to the new owner.
If you wish to do that you should ensure you have complied with the terms of your lease, otherwise the landlord may be able to refuse the request to transfer the lease.
Q: Are there any ‘hidden costs’ to closing my premises?
A: Your landlord could, depending on the terms of the lease, insist on you returning the premises to the condition it was when you started your tenancy, or paying the cost associated with doing that.
You must, of course, continue to pay the rent and service charges if applicable and your landlord will return any overpayment later.
Matthews bio will go underneath once we have it.