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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Commercial tenancy - , we are a registered [voluntary creative] char

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Hi, we are a registered [voluntary creative] charity business A Madcap Coalition based in Deptford/Greenwich.
Could you please clarify/advise me of our tenant’s rights, and whether our property owner has acted within his legal rights please?
This month we failed to pay the rent due within 14 days as stipulated on our lease.
Last Sunday [Dec 13] without any prior warning [verbal or written] giving us the opportunity to pay the rent, the locks were changed and a Notice of Seizure pinned to the entrance.
I believe legislation passed in April 2014 that commercial landlords need to comply with the conditions of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery regulations that include a seven day written warning to the tenant of their intention to enact Notice of Seizure.
In mitigation of my failure to do so, while working I have been distracted over the last month, on a regular basis attending to a close friend and colleague rapidly declining with terminal cancer who passed away last Saturday night, and in supporting his daughter – a single parent.
Then, on Sunday Dec 6, due to injury sustained from an accident, continuing work with limited capacity and enduring considerable pain through the week I was somewhat distracted, resulting in oversight on my part in not paying the rent within the time stipulated in our lease.
Advised on the Notice of Seizure to contact their solicitors, who referred us to the landlord, who referred us to the bailiffs, who claim that, as the landlord has the keys, they have nothing to do with it until the date [5PM 8th JAN 16] that we have to be out. The landlord refuses to negotiate and refers us back to the bailiffs.
I offered yesterday to pay the rent but been informed this is not negotiable and am refused entry to the warehouse.
In the meantime we are suffering loss of earnings and prevented from carrying on our business.
We have also today been informed by the landlord they have secured new tenants.
Background
After notice to quit in October 2014, a four-month search then three months in the process of moving, due to limited access by the landlord [Land Lease] to our previous warehouse and the voluntary nature of Madcap, we moved in to our current warehouse premises in March this year [2015]. Since then we have been been rationalizing the space which has compromised our earning capacity.
Three weeks ago, unexpectedly we were given notice that our lease would not be renewed at the end of Feb and to vacate the premises by March 1st 2016.
• Prior to signing the lease we were lead to believe that although there maybe anything from 1-3 years before tenure would end due to redevelopment, we would more than likely have at least two years].
• We were led to believe we could and did create storage space in the rafters, however when we did so there was a change of heart to which, not as swiftly as the landlord would perhaps have liked – again due to the voluntary nature of Madcap, we have been compliant.
• The Landlord lives in a flat adjoining the warehouse. Although there is no direct access to the warehouse, that proximity constrains our activities and limits our usual business practice e.g., refusal of rehearsal space generally and carpentry/set and prop construction is not welcomed beyond usual business hours.
• We do not have vacant tenure as The Landlord is still using space in the warehouse for his own storage purposes and has access to the warehouse.
• On a regular basis in pursuing rent throughout our tenure, the Landlord has been very aggressive bordering on harassment.
• No other tenants on site have received notice to quit. We live with that and are looking for new premises.
Consequently, we have an uneasy relationship with our landlord and their attitude towards us could be described as hostile.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's been more than twenty-fours since I posted this, paid for advice and not even had an acknowledgement. If there's a problem , how would I know if you dont communicate this
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I would like an answer please. There is some urgency to resolve this issue.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
If the rent is late does the lease allow for Landlord re-entry please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The landlord has always had access to the warehouse as he has some of his own equipment/tools etc in the warehouse.
Here is copy of Section 11 of the lease. Would it be useful to email copy of lease?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the offer but I cannot afford it.
Would it be helpful to email full copy of Lease? Below is copy of Section 11 from the lease.
11. FORFEITURE
10. This lease comes to an end if the Landlord forfeits it by entering any part of the
Property which the Landlord is entitled to do whenever:
(a) payment of any rent is fourteen days overdue, even if it was not formally demanded
(b) the Tenant has not complied with any of the terms in this lease
(c) the Tenant is an individual (and if more than one, any of them) is adjudicated bankrupt or an interim receiver of his property is appointed
(d) the Tenant if a company (and if more than one, any of them) goes into liquidation (unless solely for the purpose of amalgamation or reconstruction when solvent), or has an administrative receiver appointed or has an administration order made in respect of it
The forfeiture of this lease does not cancel any outstanding obligation of the Tenant
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Was it more than 14 days late?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes. we pay rent in advance and there was an initial rent payment made as a deposit. ie. our first payment was for 2000 pounds. Since the Notice of Seizure i offered to pay the rent but was told it is not negotiable
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My apologies but I have to go out for an hour or so .I'll sign back in when I return. Thank you for your help so far.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Have you now been let back in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, he refuses to negotiate and he's now away until Monday.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am now back at my desk
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
what you need to do is apply for relief to the County Court.
You need to complete form N5a:
https://www.moneyclaimsuk.co.uk/PDFForms/N5a.pdf
The court will list it for an urgent hearing and decide whether to allow you back in. If you can pay back the arrears in a reasonable time the Court will make the Court.
But you should do this asap to get back in. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice.
In your instruction above you have written :
If you can pay back the arrears in a reasonable time the Court will make the Court.Is this a typiing error as I'm not sure what this means otherwise.
Would this application apply to asking for a deferred removal of our goods as I don't think it's a good idea to remain in the premises.
The time frame to vacate is practicably impossible given that we need to find new premises and the costs involved - especially at this time of year.
We were previously given notice that our lease would end and we have to be out at the end of February anyway when the lease expires?
Are there costs involved with applying to the County Court?
If our request is granted would the landlord bear responsibility for the costs?
If the judgement goes against us would we have to bear those costs?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If you can pay the arrears in a reasonable time the court will make an order allowing relief, Ie entry back into the property.
There is a court fee applying to court and yes If you win you can ask for costs. If you lose you have to bear those costs.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - called away again.
Not paying the rent was never an issue - it was an oversight on my part due to circumstances I described in my initial query.
I offered to pay the rent the same day the Notice of Seizure was issued but he said it's too late, its not negotiable. I failed to pay the rent within the 14 days stipulated in the lease and he pounced on that opportunity to get us out as we've had a rather fractious relationship with him over several issues since we moved in, including harrying demanding as soon as the rent was due.
We were sent notice to quit at the end of February when the lease runs out - the other tenants on the property, which has been sold to developers, are being offered a rolling tenancy from that date but we've not had that offer.
Especially given the time of year & the shortage of affordable premises in London we want to be given a reasonable length of time to organise new premises and the time to get all our equipment, materials etc out rather than to be forced out by January 6 as he says he has already lined up new tenants.
We are perfectly willing to pay the rent. We paid the rent monthly in advance and initially required to pay one month's rent as deposit. We have also paid 3000 pounds in installments for large workshop machinery & equipment - by verbal agreement, which nicely solved a problem for the landlord but in these circumstances creates a real head ache for us. As it was a verbal agreement we were considering using this to cover the rent between now and end of lease.
We want access to our equipment etc as we are unable to work and suffering loss of earnings.
Are our requests within the court's remit should we decide to take this up?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes but you cant do that without a Court order.
So you should apply asap and get a Court order for re-entry.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok , thank you, ***** *****'s helpful. I know it's not possible to predict the outcome of a hearing but on a scale of 1 -5 how strong a case do you think we have please?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hard to say but I would think 4.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, I guess that's about it. We'll have to weigh this up and come to a decision.Thank you so much for your help.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Happy to help and good luck.
Alex
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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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