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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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We rent a commercial property and use it as a hairdressers/beauty

Customer Question

We rent a commercial property and use it as a hairdressers/beauty salon. We originally rented it from my Husbands best friend as a gentlemans agreement. Unfortunatly he died last August and now his Uncle has taken over We have asked him for a lease as we have already been trading for 3 and half years. He has now been going back on records and says we owe him money, For example he can't find 2 cheques for 2 years ago in the bank account which we paid. We are having proof sent through from our Bank to proove that they have been paid as he wont believe us even thogh we have shown him bank statements. We have put all of our life savings into this business and want to know if we have any safety at all without a lease. Bye the way he put our rent up by 80.00 per month as soon as his nephew had died
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

Is the uncle the executor of the nephews estate?

Do you have any papers at all? Do your bank statemets reflect monthly rent?

How long have you been there? What would market rent be?

Do you occupy eclusively?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes he is the executor to his nephews will, yes we do have bank statments that reflect monthly rent and electric/gas. We have been there since Oct 2009. In what repect do you mean by exclusively?

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
Do you share with anyone else or does anyone have access?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No we do not share

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. Presumably, you can
get bank statements that show the payments made and going through your bank.

He is entitled to be paid the
market rent.

So, what you need to know is
whether you have any security of tenure or not.

It really depends upon the
terms on which you occupy the property at present.

If the nephew wants you out of
the property, he will argue that you had a licensed/tenancy at will, and that
is terminable on reasonable notice which would probably be between one and
three months.

On the other hand, you will
argue that you have exclusive possession of the property and you can exclude
the landlord as you wish and therefore you have a lease, albeit that it is not
in writing. The writing simply provides certainty.

Even if you had a document
which said it was a licence on a month by month basis, just because it says it
is a licence and not a lease does not necessarily mean that it is not a lease.
If it is a lease, then you are entitled to a written document to provide
certainty and cannot simply throw you out. However, let me tell you that many
court cases costing tens of thousands of pounds have been fought over whether a
property is occupied on the basis of a lease of a lease or a licence. If you
Google "lease or licence"

in the same search box
(brackets that exact term into the search box, but without the inverted commas)
, it will give you plenty of reading.

Can I help further?

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The thread remains open for us to continue this exchange

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I will dicuss your answer with my partner and get back to you maybe tomorrow



Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.
No problem.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


We understand exactly what you are saying regarding Lease or License. Our problem has been that even though we have already agreed a lease and infact sent a copy to him of a proposed lease for his parusal, (As he does not understand what a lease should contain)He has now decided to make things awkward regarding the final signing, I am convinced that he is just trying to gain further monies from us any way he can (AS EXPLAINED IN THE CHEQUE SITUATION). I just want to verify in your opinion could he ask us to leave because the lease is not signed or do we hold a right of ocupancy due to the fact that we have been building the business fo over 3 years now and can proove with bank satement and accounts that we have always paid the rent and any other bills relating to the building or business. We have not only kept the building in good order we have infact made vast improvments.

I do not think that the rent situation was fair but am willing to accept. but i will not be bullied into paying out monies that i do not owe so that i can have the lease. Maybe now you can see my dilemer.

Expert:  James Mather replied 5 years ago.

The business is immaterial.

You simply have proof of rent payment. The lease licence argumnet remains if he will not renew.

If he wants more than market rent, then you either negotiate or move. He loses a tenant. You are playing bluff/poker who bottles 1st.

You are not entitled to anythibg for improvements nor does it increase the rent.

Can you find out who the beneficiaries are?