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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Business wrongly evicted when shop lease is sold?

Resolved Question:

A young guy I know and have helped advice wise, has just been turned over by his step-dad. Story: My friend started a barbers in a little shop in Bromley, his step-dad signed the lease on the shop, but didn't put my friends name on the lease. He paid the rent due each month direct to the Landlord. 4 years of building up the business, 4 years of accounts and paying taxes and his step-dad has now sold the lease to the chap next door (dry cleaners), changed the locks and kicked Kieron out. The dry cleaner guy has put a barber friend in the shop and they are now trading as the Barbers with Kieron's signs still over the door and using his equipment. My friend has received no money or compensation, just kicked out. Does he have a case? Is it right that he can be evicted from the premises like this? He is so deflated he doesn't know what to do, so I am seeking advice on his behalf. Kindest regards, ***** *****  Just to confirm the business was not a joint venture.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know whether your friend has anything in writing with the step dad?
Customer:

Not that i'm aware of.

Customer:

My friend didn't have the credit worthiness at the time to sign the lease himself. As far as the business is concerned, it was nothing to do with his step father.

Alex Watts : Why didn't he have any form of agreement with step dad?
Customer:

Misplaced trust I suppose. His step father is an estate agent himself and a little bit wide to say the least.

Customer:

With this in mind, does my friend have any rights at all?

Customer:

Is there anything else you need to know before advising me whether he has a case or not?

Alex Watts :

Sadly not

Alex Watts :

Step dad was the lease holder

Alex Watts :

The person should have had a written agreement with the leaseholder

Alex Watts :

He did not

Alex Watts :

Therefore he had a tenancy at will which could be ended at any time

Alex Watts :

In theory the young lad could sue step dad

Alex Watts :

However he would need to issue proceedings and show there was a contract

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.



If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.



The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.



If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.



Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

Any case is weak but given a small claim value this is only what he could claim and try his luck at trial

Customer:

Thanks for the response.

Customer:

So basically, just so I can relay this info correctly, without any form of written agreement or contract, the step father didn't need to give any kind of notice and is free to evict, change the locks prior to selling the lease to another and offer for use all fixtures and fittings to another person/operator in the same line of business.

Customer:

In a nutshell, my young friend hasn't a leg to stand on and has wasted 4 years building up a business. That's a shame. Many thanks for your help.

Alex Watts : Sadly yes.
Alex Watts : You are correct
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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