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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23204
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My daughter is rent a basement to use as a gym studio. Her

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Hi. My daughter is rent a basement to use as a gym studio. Her landlord is paying the business rates for the whole property including the basement. With the Coronavirus situation the landlord still wants her to pay her monthly rent although he is excused paying any business rates for 12 months. Has she any bargaining power with him. We realise he can’t evict her for non payment of rent in this crisis. She has been forced to shut the studio by the government. Any thoughts?
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Leeds UK
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: Non. Landlord has contacted council to see if they will split the business rates but that won’t happen quickly
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hi, welcome to JustAnswer. My name is Jo C, I’m a barrister with 12 years of experience and I am happy to help with your question today.

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
Thank you have you already received my question?

I have been asked to look at this for you.

The landlord is, as you probably imagine, simply being greedy. He wants to have his cake and eat it.

Whilst there is a three month moratorium on eviction, we don’t the when that three-month moratorium starts and finishes because if you take, for example, residential property, a landlord cannot really start eviction until 2 months rent is outstanding.

So the three-month moratorium is really only one month if it starts now and the courts are not accepting applications for eviction now.

It doesn’t need a court order to foreclose on a properly drafted lease of commercial premises. Many commercial (all properly drafted) leases have a clause that when the rent is overdue by 7/14/21 (it varies) days, the landlord can peaceably re-enter the property (doesn’t need a court order) and simply lock the tenant out. He then becomes responsible for the business rates but that’s academic in these circumstances.

The landlord cannot get blood out of a stone if she doesn’t have the money and if he does foreclose on the lease, he’s going to have an empty property with no chance of getting a tenant in, in the short-term. At least, your daughter is going to be up and running soon the restrictions are lifted. The landlord has any sense, in the current market, he is just going to sit tight. That is if he has any sense!!


With regard to negotiation, it depends whether she is going to pay the rent or not pay the rent and that comes down to whether she can afford to pay it.

If she can’t afford to pay it, then negotiation is somewhat academic.


My suggestion would be that you grease whilst he is not paying rates, the rent should be reduced by however much he is not paying.


Whether that would have any weight, if it got to court, would depend on the wording of the rent provision in the lease and says that the rent is £X including rates and there are no rates, then the rent should be reduced accordingly.


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Kind regards

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23204
Experience: Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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