Leases and Licences – Make Sure You Get Them Right!


Most commercial landlords appreciate the importance of a well-drafted commercial lease as a way to protect their interests. Commercial Property Solicitor Ben Hersom explains.

Though it may seem like an unimportant additional expense, a well-drafted lease is the best way to ensure that cost implications, both during and after the term of occupation are limited to the greatest extent possible and that the interests of the landlord are protected.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 grants those with qualifying tenancies security of tenure or, in other words, a right for the tenants to apply to the Landlord for a renewal lease at the expiration of the term and a right to apply to Court for determination of fixed terms if the landlord and tenant cannot reach agreement as to the terms of the renewal lease. It is therefore hugely important that such rights are excluded if it is the landlord’s intention to grant a fixed term lease with a view to reserving their position on renewal. Without statutory exclusion, a tenant may acquire a right to a renewal lease, and a right to financial compensation if the landlord takes back the property at the end of the term. Attempts to exclude a right to financial compensation are limited.

If a landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy, and security of tenure is not properly excluded, strict time limits apply to ensure that a tenant’s right to occupy is protected. Moreover, if a tenant does not agree to leave, there are specific grounds which a landlord must prove/apply in order to terminate a statutory protected tenancy. This may have an unfortunate financial impact on the landlord if, for instance, they have plans to redevelop.

Pinney Talfourd LLP and their team of commercial property experts are able to assist in respect of all commercial property matters, on behalf of landlords and tenants in a wide range of transactions and with litigation assistance when negotiations fail. Before granting or accepting a lease, seek the assistance of a qualified commercial property solicitor for advice on the benefits and pitfalls of a commercial property lease – it could save both time and a great deal of expense in future dealings with the property.


For further information and legal advice relating commercial leases, please contact our Commercial Property department – call us or email by using the form to the right.This article was written by Ben Hersom, Solicitor at Pinney Talfourd LLP. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of May 2018.


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