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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3213
Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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I am a tenant in a serviced office and the landlord shut our

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JA: Hi. How can I help?
Customer: Hello, I am a tenant in a serviced office and the landlord shut our office due to covid for April and May. They are now remanding rent.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: UK Kent
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: it's not a lease. Its a licence.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thats all

Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter.

Can I please ask you to give me some more detailed information regarding this matter so as to allow me to work with you and help resolve your enquiry.
do you have a copy of the licence agreement?

Do you have any business interruption insurance?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
see attached our license agreement. No, i do not believe we have interruption insurance.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Can you see the attachment?

Let me take a look for you.

The company will still have rates and water bills etc to pay which is why they no doubt would continue charging rent.

Section 10 of the agreement licence clearly states that they will not be responsible for any temporary loss of use or access to the space.

However, that section also goes on to state that should you pay for any additional services that cannot be supplied, then if the lack of extra services is for more than 24 hours, a proportionate refund or allowance will be made.

Therefore, unfortunately, as regards ***** ***** location being closed, you would be liable for the rent even though you could not gain entry. This is clear under section 10.

If you were paying for extra services, then you need to peak with them to see what allowance or refund for those services will be made.

If you have business interruption insurance, you should be able to claim on that policy, that is why this type of business insurance exists.

Further, to back up my opinion is the fact that there is no Force Majeure clause to be relied on.
We can then move on to look at the law of “Frustrated Contract”

Unfortunately, that would also fail here, as the closure was only temporary and not a permanent I ability to fulfil the agreement.

You could speak with the company, and see if they would allow a reduction in rent for the months. It is very possible that they were able to secure the £10,000 payment made available to companies to assist with rates etc, so if they did, they may be willing to assist there licence holders. No guarantee, but no harm in asking.

Hello, I am just following up on your enquiry to see if I can assist further. Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

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