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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I own a company and our landlord recently sold the premises

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I own a company and our landlord recently sold the premises to developers who promtley served us 6 months notice to get out. As a result we had to make redundencys and move the company out of the area. We never received formal notice from the new owners of the building that they were taking over the lease and we have never signed a contract with the developers. We had an agreement with the old landlord of rent of £2500 per month the new owners promtley added £500 as vat to each month although the old contract said £2500 . Due to the expense of moving and redundancies we fell behind on rent payments and said we would do a deal soon as we were settled because if we paid the rent we would not be able to move out by the time requested. Since moving out the new owners have threatened legal papers to be issued against myself as I guarenteed the original lease with our old landlord. As I am currently trying to rebuild my company and catch up on back tax I am not in a position to pay it right now. They also offered another company on our estate 1 month rent free due to disturbance of business as the security they put in place kept locking the gates meaning deliverys were not getting in to the estate. They have not offered any such rebate. I feel it's just developers trying to get everything they can and want to know where I stand legally.
Yours sincerely
Adam warner
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Is it a business or private lease?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Business lease
How much is being claimed? Did the lease allow for VAT to be added?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
£7500 is being claimed. The company we rented from was not vat registered so this was never mentioned in the lease
How is the £2500 made up. 3 months?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We were paying £2500 per month then in dec they added £500 vat taking it to £3000 we made some payments to them but this is made up of April 3.5 months as we moved out mid March
Was your agreement due to end then anyway? Or did they give you the notice?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They gave us 6 months notice soon as they purchased the building we still had a couple of years left in the lease
They had no right to end it early?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
There was a 6 month notice in the original lease but we never signed a new contract with the new owners
Did the old lease say it could be assigned?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
So is in effect the outstanding part the VAT element over 6 months?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The out standing is made up as below
2500 oct
2500 nov
693.55 dec
1645.16 March
We paid dec jan and March as £3000 but the extra outstanding sum for December of £693.55 they are saying is vat due from when they registered to when they received a vat number. We had by the time we received this invoice done our vat return for that quarter.
How enforceable is the guarantee we signed with the old landlord by the new owners. As we never signed a guarantee with them.
How much in VAT over the period have you paid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1500 paid already with another £693.55 for an extra invoice they raise to cover vat from oct -nov although these had been paid already without vat plus about another 400 on March invoice
In total how much is vat element ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Approx £2500
Ok. In that case they can't chase the £2500 because VAT was never agreed in the lease, so that can be deducted. So the £2500 can be reduced. It does not matter that you did not sign an agreement with the new Landlord as the old one can be assigned.
Therefore the Company owes rent less £2500. As for the for personal guarantee it cant be enforced unless you have signed with the new Landlord. It must have the new Landlords name on it and signed by you. Therefore although any rent less £2500 is due, it can't be enforced against you personally.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
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I am just following up on this. Is there anything else I can help with? If so, please let me know.