Can anyone help with knowledge on commercial tenancy law? Can anyone help with knowledge on commercial tenancy law?
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  1. #1

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    Question Can anyone help with knowledge on commercial tenancy law?

    My Ltd has been renting an office unit. With the landlords permission I sublet desk space to other freelancers. The initial tenancy was one year which finished last week. At that point I would have gone on to a 3 month notice rolling tenancy, however unfortunately last week I did not have enough other co-workers to allow us to afford to re-sign. Instead we signed a written agreement that we could remain in the unit at a reduced rent with a weeks notice until either we were in a position to resign the lease or the landlord found another tenant.

    A week later and with amazingly bad timing I have finally found two people to occupy the desks. However the landlord has informed me that he is in discussions with a third party who may want to take the unit. I told him that I was willing to sign immediately for another year but for some unknown reason he is giving this third party preference and is awaiting their decision. We have had no disagreements and have always paid rent on time etc.

    I have been trying to research my legal position and whether I would have any right to request a continuation of tenancy. From the landlords point of view we have no current tenancy as our formal year contract ended. However I am wondering if simply occupying the unit with written consent constitutes a tenancy and if so would I have any grounds to appeal?

    Can anyone shed any light on this? If not is there any source of free legal advice on such matters?

    Thanks
    Dan

  2. #2

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    I don’t think your business would have grounds for appeal, and based on it being a B2B, you’ll struggle to get good legal advice free.

    But I’d question your business model if there isn’t enough cash flow to allow you to sign to rent for a year, and I suspect that’s where the landlord is coming from.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    I don’t think your business would have grounds for appeal, and based on it being a B2B, you’ll struggle to get good legal advice free.

    But I’d question your business model if there isn’t enough cash flow to allow you to sign to rent for a year, and I suspect that’s where the landlord is coming from.
    And the fact you've got extra risk with an off the books agreement to rent the space. If he's a new client that doesn't have any odd requests that looks like they'll just pay year in year out he'd be daft not to go for that.

    I'm not sure why you think legal advice will help. You clearly state...

    Instead we signed a written agreement that we could remain in the unit at a reduced rent with a weeks notice until either we were in a position to resign the lease or the landlord found another tenant.
    and then you state

    However the landlord has informed me that he is in discussions with a third party who may want to take the unit.
    He's abiding by the agreement you have so where do you think your case is?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 9th October 2019 at 11:02.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    He's abiding by the agreement you have so where do you think your case is?
    Having read though this "The right to security of tenure":

    You are being redirected...

    I'm wondering if any of it applies in this case. This new short term agreement still constitutes a tenancy afaics so perhaps we can legally make a request for new tenancy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafd View Post
    Having read though this "The right to security of tenure":

    You are being redirected...

    I'm wondering if any of it applies in this case. This new short term agreement still constitutes a tenancy afaics so perhaps we can legally make a request for new tenancy.
    What do you hope to accomplish by Going "all legal" on LLs a**? Even if you manage to get a court mandated lease extension, this will sour your relationship with the LL massively and he will try to find a way to get you out eventually.

    It sounds like your LL has been more than reasonable thus far, it's time for you to do the same.

    In case you decide to go to court - speak to a solicitor, I doubt anyone where will be able to provide qualified advice on this subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafd View Post
    Having read though this "The right to security of tenure":

    You are being redirected...

    I'm wondering if any of it applies in this case. This new short term agreement still constitutes a tenancy afaics so perhaps we can legally make a request for new tenancy.
    I'm not sure it does. Ultimately you aren't in a lease. It expired and you are on a written agreement with conditions that you both signed. Technically it could be argued you aren't in a lease.

    The agreement could constitute a tenancy of sorts, but with terms which the landlord following.

    Going legal is hugely expensive. Dunno how much you are paying for this but I'm struggling to see how it's going to be financially viable for you. Are there no other options available to you? It sounds like you are running a risky business model as it is so maybe you would be better off somewhere else?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafd View Post
    but for some unknown reason he is giving this third party preference
    Maybe they offered more money. Maybe she's attractive. Maybe he doesn't like the way you comb your hair. Maybe you tracked mud into his office once. Maybe he wants someone who won't have to rely on finding someone last minute to be able to pay the lease.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rafd View Post
    and is awaiting their decision.
    You have three options:
    1. Do like he is doing and await their decision.
    2. Try offering him more money and see if it changes his mind.
    3. Find another place. If you can't find another place for a comparable price, revert to #2, you've been underpaying.

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