Commercial Landlord Solicitor
Being a commercial landlord can be an incredibly lucrative venture. However, a relationship between a commercial landlord and their tenant can be a fragile one, and disputes regularly arise over issues such as rent arrears, service charges and dilapidations. Such disagreements can quickly spiral out of control, becoming time consuming and costly. When embroiled in a dispute with a tenant, working with an experienced commercial landlord solicitor is crucial in ensuring your rights are effectively enforced, your position protected, and your investment secure.
Our commercial landlord solicitors regularly act for landlords dealing with problematic tenants. The course of action they take depends on several factors, including the nature of your relationship with your tenant, their history and your ultimate goals. Their advice is concise, straightforward and results-focussed, quickly getting to the heart of the issue and identifying how it might best be resolved.
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What Types Of Issues Does A Commercial Landlord Solicitor Deal With?
• Rent Disputes
A tenant falling into rent arrears is one of the most common causes of disputes between commercial landlords and tenants and can have a disastrous impact on a landlord’s finances. Luckily, there are several options available to commercial landlords who find themselves in this position, including recovering the arrears through the commercial rent arrears recovery process, issuing court proceedings and forfeiting the lease.
The appropriate course of action in any given case will depend on a range of factors, including the terms of the lease, the tenant’s financial situation, and the landlord’s intentions for the property. A commercial landlord solicitor from our team will consider the circumstances of your matter and devise a strategy that ensures recovery of the arrears in the most appropriate manner.
• Service Charge Disputes
Service charges are payable by the tenant to cover the costs incurred by the landlord in connection with services such as lighting and heating. The obligations of the landlord and tenant, and the service charge arrangements, should be included in the Lease.
It can be incredibly frustrating when you have incurred significant expenditure in fulfilling your contractual obligations with respect to the property, only for a tenant to refuse to fulfil theirs and leave you out of pocket. Our commercial landlord solicitors frequently assist landlords involved in service charge disputes with their tenants. They will review the terms of the lease, advise on your legal position and pursue the service charge on your behalf.
• Landlord Remedies
A lease is a contract, and so any breach may give rise to a claim for breach of contract. However, the relief a commercial landlord is entitled to depends on the nature of the breach and the term breached.
For example, forfeiture is a landlord’s ultimate weapon against a tenant in breach of their lease. It enables you to take back control of the premises and exclude the tenant. However, the right can only be exercised if it is expressly provided for in the agreement unless the tenant is in breach of a ‘condition’. A condition is a fundamental term of the lease, and often includes the payment of rent.
A landlord’s right to forfeiture can be easily waived, so it is vital to proceed with caution when dealing with a tenant’s breach to avoid inadvertently jeopardising your position. If you accept payment of the outstanding rent, for instance, you will likely lose your right to forfeit. You should speak to a commercial landlord solicitor before taking any action. Thy will safeguard your position and ensure all available remedies remain open to you.
Another option for landlords seeking to recover rent arrears is the commercial rent arrears recovery process, more commonly referred to as CRAR. This procedure enables commercial landlords to seize a tenant’s goods and sell them to recover the unpaid rent without the need for Court proceedings. Only unpaid rent can be recovered under the CRAR; it does not apply to other sums that may be due, such as service charges. Various other criteria apply, and your commercial landlord solicitor will advise on the suitability of the procedure to your situation.
Often, the appropriate remedy for a landlord depends on their commercial reality. If the property is in demand and an alternative tenant will likely be readily come by, forfeiture may be preferable if the circumstances allow. If, on the other hand, the rental market is less favourable, you may be keen to retain the tenant and deal with the issue by recovering the arrears and moving on. Your commercial landlord solicitor will take all relevant factors into account and devise a strategy that enables you to make good your financial losses in the context of your commercial goals.
How We Can Help
Whatever the type of dispute you have, our commercial landlord lawyers are here to help and support you through the whole process, including and any legal proceedings you may wish to take. We will always advise to try and resolve these amicably, but if you have tried this and been unsuccessful, we are happy to help resolve the issues for you.
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