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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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I have a commercial property workshop unit the tenant has been

Resolved Question:

I have a commercial property workshop unit the tenant has been in their since 1998 with no written agreement but is invoiced monthly for the rent and separate invoice for electric.
I now want vacant possession to sell. the tenant is also in rent arrears. what rights do they have and what rights have I got. thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 years ago.

wingrovebuyer : Hello. Does the tenant run a business from the unit?
Customer:

yes he does was two business but now works from one unit and think it now only one business but uses

wingrovebuyer : Thanks. Your tenant has a protected business tenancy, if he has exclusive use of the unit. This can cause problems for landlords wanting to regain possession and does give the tenant lots of rights. However, if he's in arrears of rent, you can give him Notice to Quit if you want him out, or exercise the right of "distress" if you want your money - this simply means getting a bailiff to go around to the unit and remove the tenant's goods to the value of what you're owed. The threat of doing this usually works to get the tenant to pay up. However, you say you want him out, so the Notice route is the best route. Hopefully he'll not kick up a stink, and just leave. You could offer to let him off the arrears if he goes quickly and quietly.
wingrovebuyer : The Notice to serve is under section 25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act. This must be drafted properly and served properly. This means you will really require a solicitor to draft it and serve it for you. However, as this will cost you a few hundred pounds, if you can convince the tenant to leave and hand back they keys, then you will have vacant possession.
Customer:

as I am the new owner of the property by resent inheriting would we not be able to give the tenant a contract with 6 months and not renewable and put the rent up so that he goes. or if had to pay him to go would the amount you have to offer be on the rental payment or the rateable value of the unit. as knows we want him out to sell with the view of outline planning for homes . my parent died before the plans

Customer:

were re-entered for permission which we are now waiting on. he knows this as it been going on for some time so know he will be very difficult. thank you .

wingrovebuyer : Thanks. I'm afraid you can't force him to take a new tenancy or increase the rent without his cooperation because his tenancy is a business tenancy, protected by law. as he is in arrears, you could serve a Notice to Quit as I said above. If he was to sign something new, it would have to exclude protection under the law, or be a "tenancy at will". However, if he took legal advice, his lawyer would tell him a court would probably overrule any such agreement because he didn't realise he was giving up much more secure rights. If you want possession, serve a Notice to Quit and evict him. That really is the best option.
Customer:

does notice to quit take a long time to go through and what possible rouble could he cause for delay. we had already thought of the arrears letting him off but now that forms part of my parents estate.

Customer:

but he is now 2 months arrears in rent with us. and know he will have a hold to get more money from us to go. or do you think with the notice to quit will still be the better option to take. he belongs to some legal advice organisation for business so he will also be getting all the answers. he has been nothing but trouble since he moved in and would not sign the agreement which was a basic one from a solicitor he kept crossing out things the never signed and return it . he has a car parked for 2 years and not moved and has taken no notice of any notices that I have given and put on the car no tax.

Customer:

feel like dumping it on the main road but know this will cause more trouble.

wingrovebuyer : Yes, notice to quit is the best solution because he can't deny he has arrears. Ask the solicitor handling your parents' probate to look into this and draft a Notice. If he refuses to leave you will have to get a court order - this can take time, like all legal processes, but it is best to follow the correct procedure.
Customer:

thank you for your advise will look into those options. would it be the same process if he by a miricale

Customer:

paid up all his arrears would we be able to give notice to quit still or it more tricky without grounds.

wingrovebuyer : Very tricky without grounds, but even if he pays now, he was in arrears and so in breach. Best of luck!
Customer:

thank you very much most helpful. have a good weekend.

wingrovebuyer : You too - please don't forget to leave a rating. Best, WB
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