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propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 214
Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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We've issued our shop tenants with a section 21 notice to

Customer Question

We've issued our shop tenants with a section 21 notice to quit (leave by 30 Sept 2016), as they haven't being paying rent for two months nor a security deposit
Yesterday they put a large sign in the shop front window to say they are closing down this Sunday and moving the business to another location - they are advertising on facebook that they have another cafe opening in the adjacent village. They didn't notify us - we saw the sign in the window.
Yesterday they have sent an email saying that they are moving out but 'Can I please remind you that we are vacating premises by the end of September as "notice" requests but will still be tying up loose ends and remain tenants until such time.'
We are worried they may be making a grab for the equipment fixtures and fittings...
Their desire to remain in the premises until 30 Sept is simply the final straw in a long long list of contemptuous behaviour to try and frustrate and or delay matters.
Meanwhile, last week the front door handle had broken and they've asked us in writing to fix it - we see this as a legitimate way to change the lock on the front door - naturally we will grant them access to pick up any final possessions, but we feel it unwise to hand them over a set of keys.
Is their new premises and advertisement of same enough of an implied surrender?
If we do go ahead and change the locks, whats the worst that can happen - any claim for loss of business is non-existent as they have closed down - is there anything else that could be considered for a claim? Is this a criminal matter? They do owe us £2500 so would any claim from them would be less this figure?
Thanks for clarifying.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  propertylawyer replied 1 month ago.


I would like to establish the type of tenancy your tenant has. Can you please clarify.

A section 21 notice to quit relates to assured shorthold tenancies. Your notice could be invalid.

As to the locks, generally under a business tenancy this is the tenant's responsibility but must provide the landlord with keys if locks changed. Depends on the tenancy terms. If you change the lock you must provide the tenant with a key whilst it is still a tenant under the tenancy agreement. It will be a tenant until such times as the tenancy is determined (effluxion of time, surrender or forfeiture).

You cannot lock the tenant out unless the Tenancies been determined, a business tenancy can only be determined during the term by surrender or forfeiture, not by a s.21 notice.

As to a surrender, if the tenant vacates, hands back keys and you accept this then it is a surrender by conduct. The landlord does not have to accept.

I cannot comment on any potential claim/counterclaim from the tenant due to insufficient details and facts.

You have a potential claim of £2500 against the tenant which you can bring in the small claims court.

Any questions or queries? Happy to assist further.

I can review the tenancy and notice served by way of additional service, if you want advice on the documents.

Expert:  propertylawyer replied 29 days ago.

I have not heard from you. Do you still need assistance?

I am happy to assist further.

If you have no further questions or queries please can I kindly request that you accept /positive rate my reply otherwise the website will not pay me for assisting you. Many thanks.

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