Commercial Property Disputes

Lease renewal.   Where the tenant has a right to review their lease under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, both the Landlord and the Tenant will want to get the best possible deal. Often the rent is the main focus, and we will work with your valuation surveyor to put your best case forward.

There can often be disagreements about other terms of the lease, such as how long it should be, whether any works of repair should be carried out, and whether the lease needs updating.  You need a solicitor who will take time to understand your needs and push to achieve them.

In some cases the Landlord may prefer not to grant a new Lease to the Tenant. Whether you are a landlord or a tenant in this situation, we will advise you where you stand and help you plan your strategy.

Dilapidations.  Dilapidations can be very contentious. At the end of the Lease, the tenant may feel they have looked after the property and returned it in good condition, but the Landlord will often see things very differently, especially if they have to carry out works to the property before it can be re-let.

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant facing a dilapidations claim , you need clear and practical advice on what you are entitled to expect legally, and how best to approach the resolution of the problem.

Rent issues. If you are a commercial landlord, you will be relying on your rental incomes. If your tenant stops paying rent, you need fast and effective action taken.

Breach of lease actions. Most leases contain lists of obligations, known as covenants. These range from restricting or forbidding certain activities, (e.g not to alter the property, or use it otherwise than for the permitted use), to those requiring positive steps to be taken (e.g to pay rent and service charges).

Whether you are a landlord or tenant, it is essential that any disputes are resolved quickly if possible to enable you to focus on running your business.

Where a dispute cannot be resolved through negotiation, BLB have the expertise to represent you in an action in the civil courts.

Dealings with the Freehold (Right of First Refusal)  If you decide to sell, develop or ‘deal’ with your building containing residential flats, you need to be sure you aren’t caught out by legislation designed to protect the existing leasehold flat owners.  If you own the freehold or superior lease of a residential or mixed use block, it is essential to check if the legislation applies to you.

Why is this important? The Right of First Refusal may require you to offer the terms of a proposed dealing to the leaseholders before you proceed.  If you don’t, the leaseholders could potentially force the transaction to be unravelled, so that they can take the benefit of it. You could even be found guilty of a criminal offence.

Does it apply to all buildings? No, it applies to buildings with residential use, and some mixed use buildings.  Each building needs to be assessed.

What is a ‘dealing’? Many people acknowledge this right applies to a sale of the freehold.  However it also applies to many other transactions, including a sale of a headlease which is superior to the flat leases, and the grant of certain other leases, such as a lease to a developer to construct a new penthouse storey.

The good news is that complying with the obligations to offer the terms to the leaseholders is not too onerous, but it usually leads to a delay while the leaseholders are given time to decide whether or not to accept the offer.

Get In Touch Today