Commercial Property Disputes
Tollers have experience of handling commercial property related disputes and, in particular:
- lease renewals (both opposed and unopposed)
- dilapidations claims
- rent arrears claims
- forfeiture claims
A tenant under a business lease may have the right to a new lease at the end of their current tenancy, provided that certain criteria under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 are met. A landlord can take action to terminate an existing lease and oppose the grant of a new lease on certain grounds. Landlords need to be aware that, in certain circumstances, compensation can be payable where they are not willing to grant a tenant a new tenancy.
Generally a lease for commercial premises will set out the obligations of the tenant in terms of repair and decoration, and specifically the standard to which the tenant must maintain and return the property at the end of the lease. A dilapidations claim is therefore simply a claim for damages as a result of the tenant’s failure to comply with their obligations under the lease. Usually, the breach will concern repairs which the tenant has failed to address.
Clearly both landlords and tenants approach the dilapidations exercise from different perspectives; one is trying to maximise the sum that can be recovered whereas the other is seeking to reduce it as much as possible. Understanding who is responsible for various works and getting clear commercial advice on what can be recovered can be fundamental in determining how to approach any dilapidations claim.
The Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”) is just one method of recovering rent arrears. There are certain criteria to be established for CRAR to apply, but assuming it does and that the required procedure has been followed, the landlord can instruct enforcement agents to take control of goods belonging to the tenant, and in turn sell the goods to recover sums to cover the arrears.
Other options for recovering arrears includes the following:
- enforcement of personal guarantees
- recovery of sums by way of rent deposit deed
- legal proceedings
Forfeiture is a complex area of law and enforcing this right can be complicated. As a landlord you must be careful not to take any action which may be construed as waiving this right.
Tollers can guide you through the forfeiture procedure and the other options mentioned above.
Talk to Tollers
The Dispute Resolution Team at Tollers have extensive experience in all forms of Property Litigation. Should you require further information or assistance then please get in touch or call us on 01604 258558.