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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi I recently signed a commercial lease for 12 years. Before

Resolved Question:

Hi
I recently signed a commercial lease for 12 years. Before signing I asked if there were any major works scheduled and they told me none that they know of - but I still insisted that I have a cap of £4500 on any possible costs related to repairs because it was an unprotected lease and I didnt want to get hit in my last year ... well it turns out Im getting hit within my first year.
1.5 months into lease a tenant from apartments upstairs comes into shop to speak to my landlord (we have a shared space) and says stop avoiding me you knew these works were coming for a long time - and she tried to hush him down because I was there. Once that happened another 1.5 months later I get a letter from landlord stating major works are happening in Feb 2015 and I need to pay for my share.
My landlord is playing the innocent she had no idea card but Im not buying it. Furthermore scaffolding will be erected over my shop for god knows how long- what are my rights? My business may go under due to this - can I sue her for not disclosing? loss of business? Can I get out of lease?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you wi
Alex Watts : Was it the landlord that said no major works and was it confirmed in writing please?
Customer:

it wasnt confirmed in writing unfortunately - it was in discussions

Customer:

however I do have in writing - that I said I asked you about this before signing the lease and you told me nothing was planned and she responded with we're just as shocked as you are

Customer:

we had no idea either

Alex Watts : And that is from the landlord?
Customer:

yes

Customer:

everyone I know who owns property and also commercial property has said its impossible - stuff like this is usually on the books for a minimum of 12 months

Customer:

but even if it wasn't - with having to get quotes etc she wouldve known before I signed the lease

Alex Watts : Indeed. Do you know whether the landlord knew about this before you signed?
Customer:

yes because a tenant from upstairs who does not like her came in angry that she was avoiding him

Customer:

and he stated that she knew the works were coming for a long time so to stop avoiding him

Alex Watts : Ok. Did anyone else witness the conversations?
Customer:

which conversation? the one from the upstairs tenant or before signing the lease?

Alex Watts : About there being no planned repairs?
Customer:

yes - but only on her side - she had her assistant there. does it not matter that i have her saying over email that she didnt know about it until just recently?

Alex Watts : Ok. This is breach of contract by misrepresentation. That is where someone makes a representation that turns out to be false.
Alex Watts : you can sue for breach of contract. The remedy for this is that both parties go back to the position before the contract was entered into. That is you get out of the lease.
Alex Watts : If the person making the statement knew it was false you could claim damages also.
Alex Watts : You need to write, set out your position and leave ASAP.
Alex Watts : You are claiming a major breach of contract. But the longer you stay there the more likely it is they would argue you have accepted the breach, thereby making it harder to leave.
Alex Watts : It would then be for the landlord to sue you for any arrears and rent owed
Alex Watts : You would file a defence and counter claim for misrepresentation
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

the lease is in her name currently - what if she transfers it over to a company and then dissolves it - does that screw me over? should I put a charge on the lease currently?

Alex Watts :

No, because if the lease is in the personal name then they can not transfer it to a company.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

ok even if they were to sell the least to someone else - say a company?

Alex Watts :

They can assign but only if the lease allows

Customer:

the lease i believe does allow - if they did that would I still be able to sue the original lease holder or put a charge on something so they couldnt sell?

Customer:

i just dont want to approach them saying im going to do something and then they circumvent it by doing something like changing the lease to a business limited company and then i cant get damages

Alex Watts :

You would need an injunction but if the lease allows him to sell/assign then sadly you wouldnt be successful.

Customer:

the upstairs neighbour told me today theyve known about it for 2 yrs

Alex Watts :

But in any event the new Landlord would be bound by the £4,500 cap

Customer:

yes but if I want out of lease and to sue for damages and loss and misrepresentation of the lease

Alex Watts :

Yes it would be the original Landlord

Customer:

ok so i could still sue the original landlord even if they sold the head lease to a company

Alex Watts :

Yes

Alex Watts :

But the sooner the better

Customer:

great - so what type of solicitor should i contact to do this

Alex Watts :

Civil litigation or Landlord & tenant (Commercial)

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

out of curiosity - how cut and dry are these cases and how long could it be tied up in court and litigation? as a business that she has now caused to pretty much go under i want to recoup and open up elsewhere again but my money is tied up in this location

Alex Watts :

They are not. Litigation is not certain, there is always a risk. Two parties go in and the Judge has to find for one or the other.

Alex Watts :

But the longer you stay the harder it is to claim misrepresentation

Customer:

Ive only just found out about this oct 2nd - and we have been emailing back and forth about if she knew about it - and ive wanted to collect evidence before saying I am out of here and going after you - if I do that by the end of this month is that too long to wait?

Customer:

also do i have to give notice or do i stop trading and move my stuff out

Alex Watts :

You can just stop trading and move if you are claiming this type of breach. But the longer you leave it, the harder it is to claim

Customer:

ok

Customer:

they have my deposit though - guess have to wait going through claims court to get this back as well

Alex Watts :

Sadly yes.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.


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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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