Commercial property lease - Notice to Quit

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by postman_twit, Apr 6, 2010.

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  1. If anyone can give me a brief answer to the following, it would be appreciated.

    I currently share a commercial property with another limited company. The lease is in the other company's name but the business rates are in my mine (small business rate relief dodge). We moved into these premises at the same time and they took out a 3 year lease. We will have been in the property 2 years on 30th April.

    I pay rental to the other company (which is invoiced monthly) and 50% of the business rates. We also both jointly own the forklift in our premises.

    I only have a verbal rental agreement (I know, I know!).

    The other company has given me 6 weeks notice to quit stating that they now require the additional room for themselves (which is a load of crap).

    Relocation of my business is going to cost me a minimum of £3000.

    Where do I stand legally?

    If the advice is to fight it, I will be doing so via the FSB legal department.


  2. Hopeful bump!
  3. You really need legal advice from a solicitor. A verbal agreement can be a contractual arrangement provided you can in some way prove it's existence, but you really need to run all the fact's and any documentation you may have past a legal brief for a definitive answer to your dilema. Good luck.
    • Bullshit Bullshit x 1
  4. Much would depend upon the terms upon which you signed up to, you say that you share the premises, but unless you have exclusive use, for a term, and at rent, you will not have a tenancy, in which case the 1954 Landlord and Tenant Act Pt2 will not apply.

    The key thing is to establish if the 1954 act applies in which case you have a lot more protection, so ask yourself.

    1) Do I pay rent = Yes
    2) Do I have an agreed term =?
    3) Do I have exclusive use = ?

    If you can answer yes to all 3 points, the fact that you have nothing in writing in less important, as you can argue a simple contract existed.

    I trust this to be helpful, whilst I do have some knowledge of the matter being in the trade so to speak, I would recommend legal advise from a property specialist if you intend to follow this up.

    Good luck.
  5. RGJ is right, you need legal advice.

    However, without prejudice etc.. etc.. to give you a heads up

    Most commercial leases will be personal to the named tenant. Assignment or sub-letting to a third party will not be allowed without the written consent of the Landlord (such consent not to be unreasonably withheld). You will need to check the lease to confirm this.

    Basically if the Landlord has not given consent by way of a Licence then your contract, verbal or otherwise is probably worthless and you don't have a leg to stand on. (If the Landlord was to find out this may of course have repercussions for the actual leaseholder)!! :twisted:

    On the bright side you could not have picked a better time to be looking for a commercial lease of your own. There are some great deals out there; with a bit of hard nosed negotiation you might even find you can reduce your existing overhead.

    Good luck and get proper legal advice.
  6. Thanks for the input gents.

    The landlord is aware of, and happy with, the arrangement.

    The 2 companies have exactly half the premises (2500 sq ft) each.

    Any hyperthetical suggestions as to a course of action when I eventually re-locate, as this cnut has tried to steal my contracts even though it's nothing to do with his core business??? :twisted:

    I can arrange the dodgy stuff but I'm open to suggestions that will cause him legal angst as well. HSE will be along shortly...... :wink:

  7. So there is evidence that a verbal contract exists, as the landlord approved it.

    Go to a solicitor.
  8. I don't know any of the legal aspects but you mentioned co-ownership of a fork lift. Perhaps this can be used to prove a relationship between the two companies?
    If it the forklift is leased you need to get your company off the lease and if it has been bought you need to get it valued so that you can either bill them for your half or buy the thing off them yourself.

    Just out of interest, have you heard or are you hearing "It's not personal, it's just business". I always translate this as "I'm going to be a complete and utter ruthless b'stard and I don't care".
  9. If it gets all legal at the end of it you'll wish you'd just spent the money.

    At the end of it all if you win do you really want to share premises with someone who is pissed off with you?

    Ask him for some financial assistance with your move in exchange for a smooth exit.

    I've spent too much time in courts to believe they are the best answer to anything.
  10. I'm learning the hard way!!! :x
  11. Even if it means that he has to give me 3 months instead of 6 weeks notice, it gives me more options. There are lots of empty commercial properties out there but very few meet my criteria. ie: 3 phase, eaves height, hard standing, security, cost and location.

    I do like this suggestion!! :D

    It's a real pity because the other 3 companies on site all help each other out whenever we can.

  12. Right legal advice received. He can't kick me out prior to the end of the 3 year lease agreement he has with the landlord. If he wants me out, he will need a court order.

    So do I stay put and visualise IEDs by his door or ask for a sweetner to move to the cracking premises I viewed this afternoon?


    Thanks for all your advice.

  13. That one. In fact, you could make legal smoke by demanding compensation for disruption, time lost etc. You won't get anywhere with it but if you're enough of a pain in the arrse he might well pay out something just to get shot of you.
  14. Going to enjoy watching him squirm! :twisted:

  15. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    You hold all the cards.

    You are now in a position to move at your convenience. Sell it to him as doing him a favour and determine how much he will pay toward your costs. If he needs the premises for genuine reasons then he will pay up.