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Are you a commercial property tenant in dispute with your landlord?

If you are a tenant of a commercial property, it is vital to gain an understanding of your rights and obligations when it comes to potential conflict.

Should a dispute arise with the landlord of a commercial building you are renting - whether it relates to details of a lease, repairs, or late payment of rent – you should seek immediate help from a commercial property solicitor.

What are the causes of disputes between commercial landlords and tenants?

The main causes of disputes between you (the tenant) and your landlord may involve any of the following factors:

  • Dilapidations and repairs
    If any part of your property is in a state of disrepair, it is important to know whether it is you or the landlord who is obliged to pay for – and carry out – repairs for the length of the lease. This is especially important when the lease comes to an end; otherwise your landlord may be able to bring a claim for dilapidations against you.
  • Rent arrears
    If you are behind with your rent, your landlord may issue a rent demand or notice on you; they could also bring their claim to court.
  • Service charge disputes
    Your landlord decides how much to charge for services, such as general maintenance, as they choose which contractors to use for the work you need.
  • Subletting
    You can sublet your commercial property as long as there is no express clause against it (or at least doing so without permission) in the lease. But, if you sublet the property for profit against the wishes of your landlord, you could face court action and have to pay damages.

I’ve heard my landlord can cancel my lease if I’m late paying rent – is this true?

If you breach your obligations as a tenant, your landlord may have the right to re-enter the property and forfeit the lease. Your landlord must serve the proper notices for this forfeiture to be lawful, though.

In fact, the powers of a commercial landlord to deal with non-payment of rent are much more far-reaching than they are for their residential counterparts.

Most commercial leases will include a clause allowing the landlord to terminate the lease if the tenant does not pay the rent for a specified number of days. This is usually somewhere between 14 and 28 days.

Why choose First4Lawyers?

Expert legal services for your business needs - whether it's employment law, policies or commercial property, we can help.

Free initial case review

Our fully trained legal advisors are happy to offer initial guidance and advice for free

Panel of expert solicitors

All our solicitors are pre-vetted and experts in providing legal services for business

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We offer advice with no obligation.  We never cold call or apply pressure to our customers

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The landlord has given me notice of forfeiture – can I contest this?

As the tenant, you have the right to apply for ‘relief from forfeiture’. This gives you the option to remedy the breaches of your lease. This may well include paying rent arrears and costs (locksmiths, bailiff’s fees etc.).

If your landlord is granted a possession order, you will usually have 28 days to either apply for relief or vacate the premises.

What happens if, after I have taken the lease, I discover there are problems relating to the premises that impact on my business?

The legal principle of ‘buyer beware’ applies to tenants taking a lease. That means that you take a property ‘warts and all’ and must satisfy yourself that it is suitable both physically and legally for its intended purpose, before signing any relevant legal documents.

I have a dispute with a landlord over commercial property – what should I do next?

It's important that you know your rights and act accordingly. Whether you feel your landlord has acted illegally, or you wish to rectify the situation, First4Lawyers can provide expert solicitors for you and your business.

Get in touch with our legal advisors for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

Do you have a legal question?

  • Get it answered within 60 minutes when you call during normal office hours.
  • Free initial advice from our trained legal advisors.

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