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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I rented a shop as a licensee as it's a sublet but my

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I rented a shop as a licensee as it's a sublet but my licensor won't issue receipts for payments made to her up to 6 months, what can i do as she threatens to evict me anytime i ask for my receipts ?

Why do you particularly need the receipts?

Do you pay by cash or cheque?

Do you have evidence of the money to pay the rent coming from your bank account?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your response.
1. I need to submit my receipts for all expenditures to my business managers as i just switched to self emloyment from JSA. Also i will need them for accounting records.
2. i paid both cash and bank transfer.
3. the only evidence i have are for the monies paid via bank transfer, but not cash.
And anyway, i believe i have a right to my receipts if i pay for a transactions. i pay £1200 per month, thats a lot. not £1

The problem with a licence as opposed to a lease, is that you can be given reasonable notice to quit as you have no protection under the Landlord and Tenant act 1954.

Usually, accountants and the revenue will accept payments coming out of your bank account as proof of payment so for future, simply make sure that all payments are made by cheque.

If you have bank statements showing payments made for the same amount consistently every month for example for 6 months in an eight-month period, they will usually believe that they were made for the other 2 months by cash because if they weren’t, the landlord would have given you notice.

If this was a residential property the landlord would have to give you a receipt. For commercial property, it’s just good practice.

If you want to push the point over the receipts, it’s likely that the landlord will just give you notice although that may be hot air. It depends if you want to take the risk of losing the property.

There is an argument to be had over whether this is a lease or a licence because it is the form of the document not what the document is called which confirms whether it is indeed a lease or a licence. If you have exclusive possession of the property it is likely to be a lease even though it says it is a licence. The leading case is Street v Mountford. However, it’s likely to be an expensive and drawnout legal battle to argue that point.

For now, you have to decide whether you are taking the landlord’s threat to give you notice to quit if you ask for more receipts or not.

By insisting on it, whether you are entitled to insist or not, and if you get them, you may win the receipt war, but lose the tenancy battle if she gives you notice.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It does not cost you anything but helps us greatly.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does it mean i have no rights to my receipts ?
Also the woman and her hubby are dudgy.
for example, she said to me that my rent covers all bills except electricity. only for coucil to send me a £2088 bill, i told her i will go to council to explain situations and probably get a relief, but she said i shouldn't go that she's paid. i went to coucil yesterday to clarify and was told no one paid for the property. she leased the property from the owner and i just got to know that she's owning for 3 years and landlord is threatening to take her to court. also her husband shares the property with me, using the other side of the shop for accounting services, i have paid electricty bill to him twice and he also refused to give recipts for them. he rather said he's ready to give me back my cash. thats totally wrong.
i dont mind loosing the property as i hate to deal with dudgy people but i really need my receipts first. what legal actions can i take ?

If the husband shares the property, it is unlikely that you do not have a lease for the reasons I stated earlier, and it will be a licence, quite simply because you do not have exclusive possession.

If you have paid his electricity bill, you are entitled to recovery from him including through the Small Claims Court if necessary.

If she steadfastly refuses to give you a receipt, is to leave the property is going to cost her 1200 pounds per month. It depends if she wants to take the risk.

A court action for an injunction to compel her to give you a receipt is not guaranteed to succeed because there is no statutory liability to do so and even so, you could be looking at £5000 in legal costs to get there.

From what you have said, it seems likely that they may not have consent to sublet the property and they are doing so to recoup some of their costs. Don’t be at all surprised if you are paying the whole rent for the property and the husband is there rent free. You are entitled to contact the head landlord ask whether there is any consent to sublet and to tell the landlord exactly rent you are being charged.

If the landlady takes exception, she will give you notice. From an accounting point of view, I would not be concerned about not having a receipt for the rent provided you have proof of the payments that you paid by way of bank statements and diary notes which is what I mentioned earlier.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for this info, i think you are right as i witnessed a hot argument between the caretaker and the husband one morning. the caretaker was complaining about their overdue rent and why they had to divide the shop into 2 without permission from the landlord. I have a neighbour who is a good friend of the landlord, we've been trying to reach the landlord but to no avail. you are also right about me paying the whole rent as i heard from grapevine that she pays only £3000 per annum. but I'm not bothered as long as i run my business successfully. i think I'll just intensify locating the landlord and see what happens. it's not also a good start for me as a new business as am striving not to go back to JSA. They are just not straight forward.
one last question pls before you go, is it possible i get full possesion of the property if am able to get the lanlord as i presently use about 2/3 of the property anyway. the hubby rarely stays in his office , i think the office is just a camouflage.

You can only get the whole building if your sub landlord agree or if the head landlord gives them notice on the basis that they are either late paying rent subletting without consent, and the head landlord allows you to take over.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for your time.

I am glad to have helped you. Best wishes.