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Moving Office - Lease Notes

When you occupy your premises for the purpose of your business it is likely that you have a business tenancy.

If your lease is for a period of more than twelve months the lease may be covered by the provisions of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 Part 2.

What is surprising for many is that a business tenancy may not come to an end on the expiration of a fixed term, nor can a landlord terminate a periodic tenancy by serving notice to quit if it is inside the provisions of The Act. So long as the tenant remains in occupation, the tenancy will continue effectively on the same terms and at the same rent until it is determined in one of the ways specified by the Act.

The provisions of the Landlord & Tenant Act can be complex and it is important to take professional advice. However, of likely importance in the event you are considering relocating is to appreciate that your lease may not automatically come to an end on the date specified in the lease if you do not serve notice to bring it to an end. There are certain exceptions to this rule including where you vacate the premises more than three months prior to the expiry date but it is important to study this and ensure that appropriate notices are served.

The protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act can bring many benefits if your relocation is delayed and you wish to remain beyond the lease expiry date specified in the lease. Careful consideration needs to be given however to adopt the correct tactics to ensure that you do not remain committed to your existing premises for longer than is necessary or conversely forced to vacate when you don’t wish to.

Exceptions to this are where a lease is excluded from the provisions of the Act. As a general rule, the Act prohibits contracting out of the protection of the Act. However, a prospective landlord and tenant may agree that a tenancy should be excluded from the Act and obtain an order from the County Court to this effect. Your lease/legal documentation should specify whether this has been the case. It is extremely important to clarify this.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
*This document is prepared as a brief guide and must not be relied upon or considered as comprehensive. Professional advice should always be sought

A further bulletin on leases is available at http://www.andrewsdenfordboyd.co.uk/html/landlord-tenant.html

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