Morgan Russell Solicitors

Landlord and Tenant

Landlord and Tenant

Easements - A Warning for Landlords

Landlords should be aware of a recent High Court decision that considered a right to park. The court granted eight tenants in a block of flats an injunction against their landlord, where their leases: 

  • Granted each tenant a right to use a designated car parking space.
  • Reserved in the landlord's favour a right to redevelop neighbouring property as it saw fit despite such redevelopment affecting or diminishing light or air enjoyed by the tenants but did not expressly reserve the right for the landlord to vary the position of the car parking spaces.

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Break clauses in leases

What is a break clause?

  •  A break clause can be included in a fixed-term lease allowing either you or your landlord to terminate the lease early.
  • Exercising a break clause brings the lease to an end.
  • Depending on how your lease has been drafted, the right to break the lease may:
    • arise on one or more specified dates; or
    • be exercisable at any time during the term of the lease on a rolling basis.
  • A break clause may only be exercised if any conditions attached to it have been satisfied (for example, providing vacant possession). A break clause will be strictly construed by the courts and any conditions must be strictly performed.

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Rent Reviews in Commercial Leases - A Tenant's Brief Overview

Introduction

When a landlord grants a lease of commercial premises to a tenant, the initial rent is negotiated and agreed between the parties.  However, where the term of the lease is longer than just a few years, such initial rent may not represent the true value of the premises for the whole term.  Most commercial leases therefore contain a rent review clause allowing for the rent to change over time, to reflect the changing value of the premises and the lease.

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Dilapidations - Practical Advice for Tenants

What are dilapidations?

Dilapidations are items of disrepair in the context of leasehold property, where a tenant is in breach of its obligations to the landlord.

Most of the relevant obligations will be contained in the lease – mainly the covenant to repair, but also other covenants including those concerning redecoration, complying with statue, reinstating alterations and yielding up at the end of the term.  Supplemental documents such as deeds of variation or licences for alterations may also contain relevant covenants which should not be overlooked.

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Non-Payment of Rent

This checklist sets out the key issues that a landlord should be aware of if a tenant fails to pay the rent due under the terms of a lease of commercial premises:

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Business Tenancies: Security of Tenure

Introduction

Business leases enjoy the statutory right to a lease renewal at the end of their contractual term if it satisfies various criteria set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (‘LTA 1954’). This right is also known as the right to ‘security of tenure’. Security of tenure means that a tenant will be entitled to a new lease at the end of the contractual term, the terms of which are to be agreed between the landlord and the tenant. If the terms of a renewal lease cannot be agreed, it will be for the court to determine the matter.

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Tenant or Licensee? - Understanding the Difference

Does is matter?

Yes - Tenants have significant rights compared with occupiers of premises whose occupation is by virtue of a licence. It is therefore important to be sure of the basis of your occupation.

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Tenant Break Clauses - Avoiding the Pitfalls

In the current economic climate, many tenants who are anxious to dispose of premises they no longer require are looking at ways in which they can bring their commercial leases to an end. However, exercising a tenant’s break clause can be full of pitfalls and a failure to comply with the requirements of the lease is likely to lead to a challenge by the landlord, who will be keen to avoid the costs and effort of finding a new tenant in a difficult market.

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Insolvency and Payment of Lease Rents

In the current economic client the financial strength of many commercial tenants is likely to have been adversely affected. As a result, tenants may experience difficulty in paying the rent due under their leases. However, the recent case of Goldacre (Offices) Limited v Nortel Networks UK Limited is a welcome decision for commercial landlords faced with tenants in administration.

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Moving Premises? - How to Avoid End of Lease Blues

In the current economic climate, many occupiers of rented property are looking to move to less expensive premises or reduce the space that they currently occupy. 

If you are thinking of doing the same, consider the points below to help you determine the best course of action:

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