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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, I need help with taking action against a commercial

Resolved Question:

Hello, I need help with taking action against a commercial tenant.
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 :

Could you please explain your situation a little more?

Customer:

Hello Alex,

Customer:

Hello, We have commercial tenant on the grand floor of a property in West Ealing, London (only the shop is rented and there are no flats). The tenant has been there for almost 10 years and we have been the landlord of the property since 2011. I got the lease of the property in 2011 (therefore sublet to the tenant) and then in 2014 I became the freeholder of the property.

The tenant initially had no written agreement with the previous lease holder and therefore I agreed to honour the verbal agreement in 2011 until a formal agreement is place.

Payment of rent is on the first of each month and the the tenant agreed 'verbally' to pay by the 5th of each month at the latest. This has hardly been the case and after the tenant without exception, over the 30 months, has been late and needed several reminders, often making partial payments.

I delivered a notice of outstanding payment to the tenant on 3 March after the he failed to make payment for February and he paid on 29 Jan for his January rent. All the payment history is evident in my bank account and the last payment (January) shows his company name.

I'd like to know my position in demanding the tenant to sign a monthly agreement, but my preference is eviction.

Customer:

Thank you Alex, I'll look forward to your answer.

Alex Watts :

The verbal agreement was that for a fixed period?

Customer:

Hi Alex, I'm sorry. I was offline. The verbal agreement was with the previous lease holder and as far as I'm aware was for no fixed period. It's more like month-to-month agreement if that makes sense legally speaking.

Alex Watts :

In that case you are entitled to submit a notice to quit

Alex Watts :

There is a tenancy at will - therefore it can be terminated at any time

Alex Watts :

Once you have given notice to quit and if it is ignored then you need to apply for possession

Alex Watts :

You can do this using form N1

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

The Court will list the matter for hearing and decide whether to give possession

Alex Watts :

But that is the process to follow

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Yes, Sure I'm here now

Customer:

Sorry I didn't introduce myself. Name is Hooman

Alex Watts :

Hello

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you about this today?

Customer:

I minute please..

Alex Watts :

Sure

Customer:

Does the fact the tenant has been for so many years any bearing on quitting any time?

Alex Watts :

No

Alex Watts :

Its the same, there is no lease. Its a tenancy at will

Customer:

So just to clarify, Should I decide to terminate this 'legacy' tenancy at will, all I have to do is issue a letter and give the tenant 1-2 months?

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

And finally, should the tenant find or produced a document as contract with the previous landlord (I doubt it very much), am I obliged to honour it?

Alex Watts :

No, not if the old Landlord has gone

Customer:

The old landlord is dead. Sorry, one more question. Does the tenancy at will apply equally to commercial property.

Alex Watts :

Yes it does

Customer:

Many thanks Alex, I have bookmarked your profile. Very helpful :-)

Alex Watts :

Happy to help. If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Customer:

Thank you, ***** ***** more question: Does the fact that I have let the tenant be in the property and continue his business for over 2 years affect tenancy at will, which to my understanding is a temporary arrangement?

Alex Watts :

No it makes no difference

Customer:

I was just reading this comment by another solicitor "A tenant who occupies premises for business purposes generally has statutory rights to renew the tenancy and a landlord can only oppose renewal on certain limited grounds.”

Alex Watts :

Yes if there is an existing tenancy agreement that has a right to renew

Alex Watts :

Here it has always been a tenancy at will

Alex Watts :

Even if it was not the old tenancy ended when the other Landlord died

Customer:

I see. Many thanks!

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