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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12071
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I lease a commercial property in Glasgow with the agreement

Customer Question

I lease a commercial property in Glasgow with the agreement being between my Company and the Landlords. I have nine years remaining on the lease, a four year 'break clause' and no personal guarantees.

I have placed the business on the market only to recently find out via council sources and from the Landlord personally, that the landlords may consider closing the entire shopping centre. The Landlord will not/cannot confirm my position or the future of the centre. Therefore it appears i will not be able to sell my business having agreed £5k with the selling agent and i cannot consider investing additional monies as these would most likely be lost if the centre does close.

The business currently requires a minimum of £15k to refurbish and without this over the next year, the business will be in severe financial difficulties and unable to pay both wages or suppliers and ultimately drain all remaining monies from both my personal and business accounts.

If i am tied to a lease, landlords refuse to offer any information, cannot refurbish, cannot sell and have no desire to loose all the money i have invested so far, is there anything i can do to avoid losing all my money and home etc?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

The difficulty here is the uncertainty. If the landlord had said that the centre was actually to close then of course he would be in breach of contract to you and the other tenants and you may have some claim against him and you could certainly walk away from the lease.

However the situation at the moment is only rumoured. This means that whatever option you choose has its drawbacks and difficulties as I think you know and there is no perfect answer.

You have to choose the least worst option for you. That could be a formal meeting with the landlord with a view to seeking a mutual end to the lease so that you could perhaps relocate elsewhere. Alternatively should you just continue marketing and if you get a buyer you proceed with the sale assuming there is still nothing positive towards the centre closing. Or do you just leave and try to hold the landlord in breach of contract by not properly marketing and managing the centre. These are just ideas and I am sorry that there is no perfect answer for you. From your narrative this could be an exercise in damage limitation therefore you have to take all steps to protect you and your assets first and foremost. I think you should have a long chat with your solicitor to explore all the options in detail.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.