My lease is coming to an end and I have heard nothing from my landlord, what should I do?
Unless excluded from the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 a tenant of business premises in England and Wales is automatically entitled to the grant of a new lease. The landlord may however re-open negotiations under the act but they may not do so earlier than the final 12 months of the current lease.
If neither party initiates the process then the tenant will continue to hold over following the expiry date, on the terms of the current lease and at the current rent. It is important to note however that the landlord may not have contacted you as they are aware that due to market conditions your rent would be lowered.
In a recent example Sanderson Weatherall acted for a tenant of retail premises in a large northern town previously held on a 10 year lease without breaks at a rent of £58,000 per annum. we were able to agree terms for a new lease for 5 years with a tenant break option at the 3rd year at a reduced rent of £43,000 per annum, saving the tenant a minimum of £45,000 up to the break option or potentially £75,000 over the 5 year term if the break option is not exercised.
Not every case will result in a rent reduction but it is suggested that employing a surveryor to act on your behalf will ensure you do not end up paying more than market value. This might otherwise occur if your landlord is professionally represented and you are not. It is also important to understand that once formal procedures are instigated under the Act the tenant can still lose its security of tenure if it does not comply with the deadline set out in the notice. Having a Chartered Surveyor instructed to act for you will also safeguard against the possibility of this happening.