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Top Tips

Top Tips

Top Tips – What to do before a lease comes to an end

Whether owner or occupier your best course of action will depend on the type of lease in place and whether or not you want to create a new lease when the current tenancy ends.  It is essential to understand your rights and obligations to avoid costly mistakes. We have put together our top tips to help you consider what to do before a lease comes to an end:

  1. Plan Ahead – Consider what you wish to achieve at least 12 months before the contractual term
  2. Is the lease protected by the Owner and Occupier Act 1954? – For those leases which are, there is a statutory right to renew for occupiers. Owners can ordinarily only obtain possession if they wish to redevelop or take back possession for their own use, which may involve paying the occupier compensation.
  3. Does notice need to be served? – A ‘protected’ tenancy can only be ended by either owner or occupier serving a formal notice, otherwise it continues. An ‘unprotected’, lease simply ends at the contractual term date and therefore notice is not formally required.  After that date, a occupier may have no further right to occupy.
  4. Consider Dilapidations – The occupier is usually liable for any repairs outstanding at the end of the lease. The liability may or may not reflect the condition when it took the lease on.
  5. Consider Alterations – If alterations have been permitted, should these be removed?
  6. Consider the Property Market – All property decisions should be considered against the backdrop of the local and national economy and property markets. Different decisions will be taken depending upon whether the market is rising or falling and how the rent under the lease relates to market value.
  7. Seek advice prior to entering negotiations – A little spent upfront may save a lot further down the road as well as enable you to enter the negotiations with a clear understanding.

If you are considering your options in preparation for a lease coming to an end and would like to discuss how best to move forwards, contact our property experts. With the knowledge of property combined with experienced insight into the market, we can assist you in the best way to deal with your lease.

Contact Giles Blagden today on 0118 955 7082 or email g.blagden@hicksbaker.co.uk.