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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70180
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good afternoon, I have a golf club catering franchaise and

Resolved Question:

Good afternoon, I have a golf club catering franchaise and have built it up over 7 years from approx 10k per annum to 75k per annum.
I pay the club £800 rent per month, they are now trying to increase my rent by 50% or cancel my contract if I do not agree.
Can they do this as I feel they are bullying me to sign or go.
Regards Tracey.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Does your contract allow them to increase the rent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi it states that its up for review every Jan.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I suppose it doesn't fix the increases at any particular percentage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No but surely this is a increase knowing that after rent, costs and wages the business cannot survive and do I have any rights legally after 7 years.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

If you have a lease, they can only increase rent in accordance with the lease and they can only terminate your contract in accordance with the lease. Similarly, you can only get out of the lease if there is a provision for you to get out early.

If however you don’t have a lease but you have a licence (also known as a Tenancy at Will) they can give you the notice in accordance with the licence or if there is no written document, or no mention of notice in the licence document, they can give you reasonable notice which after seven years would probably be three months.

Even if you have a document which says it’s a licence there is a legal argument to say that it is not really a licence but it is a lease you can only do that if you have exclusive possession of premises which it seems unlikely that you have. If you wanted to argue that litigating it is not going to be cheap or risk-free and you could end up spending tens of thousands of pounds in court although if you were successful, court would normally make a costs order in your favour against the other party, the golf club. If you successfully argue that you have a lease then you have the right to remain in the property until the end of the term which would be granted by the court.

At this stage in time, assuming this is indeed a licence and they want more than the market rent you are entitled to have the rent determined by an independent surveyor but all that will happen then is that they will give you notice to quit. I’m afraid therefore that you are in a Catch-22 situation whereby you either pay the increased rent or risk them giving you notice to quit although they may be trying it on, there is no way of knowing.

The situation would be completely different if you had a lease of the property you occupy along with a rent increase provision. If that is the case, please tell me and I will tell you how to deal with that

To the greatest extent, the time you have been there is not relevant.

I’m sorry that this is probably mostly bad news for you.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you