Keeping our clients informed is important to us so we regularly publish our thoughts on topics that will be of interest to anyone involved with commercial property. We call them ‘insights’ and we hope you find them of interest.
To the Landlord
(Do not show this to your Monthly Tenants!)
How would you like your new tenant to stay in your Premises for the next five years at the same pitifully low Rent that you have just negotiated (no Rent Reviews) without any obligation to insure against public risk, not having to worry about looking after your property, not bothering to fix any damage they caused, not worrying about painting when they leave and knowing that they have the law on their side.
If so, here’s how you do it!
- Agree to allow a tenant to occupy retail Premises but do not sign a Lease, just accept it when they say that they want to see how it goes first.
- Accept their Rent on a monthly basis for at least six months.
- On the first day of the seventh month (this is the good bit) smile when they say to you that they intend to stay for the next four and a half years (they do not even have to say it then; they can simply refer you to Section 17 of the Retail and Commercial Leases Act if you try to increase the Rent or throw them out!).
Unfortunately, the Act does not say anything about what a magistrate might decide to include in any Lease that is created by Section 17 but is it worth taking the risk?
What to do?
If you have a tenant on a monthly tenancy, you must negotiate a formal written Lease agreement which sets out all of the obligations and normal details you would expect in a Lease
You can get the Tenant to obtain a solicitor’s certificate
You can hope that the tenant does not decide to exercise their rights
You can wait and see what happens when you try to increase the Rent and you end up having to fight the matter in the Magistrate’s court
You can stick your head in the sand (but remember which bit that leaves up in the air and exposed!).