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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71042
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Hi there, as a commercial landlord our solicitor has lost our

Customer Question

Hi there, as a commercial landlord our solicitor has lost our original signed lease. Could this be a serious problem for us? What can we do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Did you receive a copy of the signed lease?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No we no copies
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.

How long is the lease for?

Is this a lease that you, as landlords, have granted to tenants?

Does the tenant have a copy of the one signed by you?

Do you have an unsigned copy?

Are you anticipating any problems?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No copies, we don't know if the tenants still have their signed copy. Just about to sell to a developer so at some point they will be served notice

Not sure if there will be a problem just need to know where we stand legally
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
You can always ask the tenants for a copy of the lease because if ever there is a problem over this, they are going to have to produce a copy of it to support anything that you are arguing over.

Depending on when the lease was taken out and the length of the lease, it may be registered at the land registry. If it was post-1995, it has to be registered if the lease is over seven years long. If it was before 1995, it does not have to be registered at the land registry unless it was over 21 years long. The land registry will let you have a copy of the lease, but there is a fee which is usually about £20.

If the lease is under seven years, the land registry will not have a copy.

The buyer will probably ask for a copy of the lease if they had not done already. If you cannot provide a copy, you have to be honest with them and tell them. They will then have to decide whether they want to proceed without it or not

You could possibly be quite frank with the tenant and tell the tenant to that you are selling the property (if he does not know already.) and that you need a copy of the tenants lease to provide to the buyer. You can offer to pay a reasonable fee.

If the tenant says that they do not have the lease that may be a blessing in disguise because if they say that they have not got it, it means they have no proof to use in litigation later on. Although, it does not stop them saying at a later stage, that they could not find it when asked, but did find it at a later stage in time.

If you can prove that the solicitor did have the lease but has lost it, you have an indemnity claim that you can bring against the solicitor for whatever this costs you

Can I clarify anything for you?