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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7660
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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I am trading as a business from a shop property by only permission

Customer Question

I am trading as a business from a shop property by only permission from the current tenant and have been tiold to quit the premises by the freeholder landlord who says his current tenant has not been granted any permission to sublet his premises. Simply, have I any rights to continue trading from the premises even as a squatter?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

Almost certainly, you won’t have any right to dispute this. The fact that the current tenant has a lease prevents you from applying for adverse possession which is how squatters normally claim rights and you would also have had to have been occupying the proprety for either 10 or 12 years.

In the circumstances, the landlord will be perfectly entitled to serve a notice for possession on you and also the current tenant if he wishes and then evict you. There is no requirement in law for him to apply to court for a court order for possession either if the property is a commercial one.

You are not likely to be able to fight this unfortunately, if you have been occupying in breach of the current lease (ie. without landlord’s permission) then your rights are extremely limited I’m afraid.

My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What rights have I got against the current tenant as I gave him my money to rent the premises in good faith. Has he committed theft taking my money under false assurances for renting from him the shop premises without him obtaining a bonafide landlord-freeholder's permission.

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

I don't think that there is any crime in what he has done, it's highly likely that the police would say that it is a civil matter and so would not be interested.

If it is the case that the current tenancy represented to you that he had the legal right to sub-let to you and it was in writing (eg. in the form of a sub-lease) then it's probably a breach of contract by him.

If it was a breach of contract then you would be able to sue them for recovery of the losses (ie damages) that you have suffered. This is probably what you are looking since you are not likely to be able to prevent eviction.

If you don't have anything in writing then it's going to be difficult though.

Kind regards,

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Is there any further information you require?

I just want to ensure that you are satisfied, so please let me know if you have any further queries on the information I have provided.

Kind regards,