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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7481
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I have a beauty business and moved into a new premises 1 year

Customer Question

I have a beauty business and moved into a new premises 1 year ago. I rented 2 rooms called Room 2 and Room 4, in the new premises which also contains 3 other independent businesses. I did not sign an Exclusion Notice under the Landlords and Tenants Act 1954.

In November 2012, I gave verbal indication of my intention to surrender Room 2 at end of my lease (which expired on 14 February 2013). However, on 2 February 2013, my Landlord gave me 2 months notice of eviction from BOTH rooms. On 16 February, I did an inventory check of Room 2 with the Landlord in front of a witness, and the Landlord took possession of the keys for Room 2. The next day he replaced the keys and told our solicitors that he had not taken possession of Room 2, and he is demanding payment in arrears for rent.
We are now in dispute over whether Room 2 was surrendered.

He also claims the communal areas (eg reception area, hallways and stairs) are not cleaned by me although in the lease agreement, they were to be serviced by the Landlord. It is for this reason that he wishes to evict me from Room 4.

We have tried to reach an agreement through our solicitors, but this has only aggravated the situation further. We are now looking for some kind of mediation or arbitration to resolve this with minimal cost, as we have taken out large loans and for Capital investment and have large financial commitments, employ 5 therapists and are have obligations to supply approximately 2000 prepaid treatments.

What would be our best course of action?

Mariya Dimitrova
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi

How many leases did you execute please?


Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, we have only one liese
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
H

Does it have any break clauses?


Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom


 


Not sure what you mean by a break clause can you specify please?


 


Mariya

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

A break clause is a clause which allows one or both parties to terminate the lease by giving notice?

Were both rooms included in the one lease?

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi


 


Yes, both rooms were included in the one lease.


 


The lease states: "2 months notice wanted to terminate or renew the lease by the tenant".


 


Verbal notice was given in front of a witness (who has supplied a written statement), in late November / early December giving notice of termination for Room 2, and this was verbally accepted. Subsequently the landlord started advertising and showing this room to prospective new tenants (we know of a minimum of 5 occasions where it has been viewed to potential new tenants). Please note that the Landlord initially accepted the keys on 16 Feb again in front of a witness, but then subsequently put the key back in the door rather than returning it directly to me. He has since denied this acceptance to our solicitor, but has not denied it directly to me.


 


Mariya

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi Mariya,

What was the fixed term of the lease?

Did you at any point give or wish to give notice to terminate Room 4?

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom,


The lease was for 1 year, 15 February 2012 started and terminated 14 February 2013.


I never have wished or given up on room 4.


 


Mariya

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Okay.

So is there are right for you to surrender room 2 but not room 4 in the lease? I'm struggling to see how you could surrender one room but not the other?

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom


the contract was to be renewed on the 14th 2013 of february for room 4 only not both rooms 2 and 4


 


Mariya


 


 

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi Mariya,

Was there to be separate new written lease for Room 4 and was this actuall executed?

If not were you simply hoping to rely on the references to the renewal in the lease for both rooms 2/4?

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Tom,


yes we were going to renew the lease for room 4 only, But Mr. Horandi instead served me 2 month notice on the 2nd of february 2013 after having had talks to renew for room 4 only.


 


Mariya

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

I’m afraid that this is all a bit of a mess. It’s the type of situation that tends to result in litigation if you cannot resolve your dispute informally because you are both relying on each other’s versions of events.

I would say that if you gave verbal notice that you wish to surrender only room 2 only and that you wished to renew room 4and he accepted this then it is arguable that you still have a right to remain in Room 4 and that room 4 was surrendered. However, you would have to prove this and you would be on much safer ground if you had written documentation or proof on this. As it stands, quite a lot would depend on the weight of credibility attached to each other’s testimony which is a bit of lottery.

If the lease states that it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain the common areas then I cannot see that he would be able to terminate on this basis.

Unfortunately the whole thing depends on 1) whether your notice to surrender room 2 was valid and accepted 2) whether your notice to renew room 4 was valid and accepted. I would usually advise not to proceed with either unless it was correctly documented in writing, but this is not possible because the whole thing was done verbally. If there was a provision in the Lease requiring renewal or notice in writing then I cannot see that you would be successful, if there was nothing in the lease requiring such requests to be in writing then it’s something that you would have to litigate over if you cannot resolve the dispute informally or by alternative dispute resolution.

Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE or above if you are satisfied that you have received the correct legal advice (even if it is not the answer you wanted to hear), otherwise I do not receive any credit for answering your question.

If you are not willing to rate my answer as OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE then allow me to assist further by replying asking what clarification you require rather than rating my answer at levels below.

If you wish for me to provide you with further guidance on any question you may have in the future then please submit a further question to the board requesting me either by my profile or by marking your question. “FAO Tom”.

Kind regards,


Tom
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.


Is there any further information you require?

I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on your position. Please remember to rate my answer, if you are satisfied.

Kind regards,


Tom

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