Guidance for Commercial Landlords: 1954 Act Protected Tenancies

There are two main ways a tenant can obtain protection for their tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the “Act”).

Firstly, it is expressly granted in the lease (or the lease is silent and no statutory declarations excluding the rights were signed prior to the tenancy commencement):

Secondly, a previously non-protected tenant occupies and trades from the premises for more than 6 months (such as at the end of a tenancy term).

The Act gives tenants the right to a new tenancy of the premises.  If terms acceptable to both parties cannot be agreed, the tenant has the right to issue Court proceedings for the Court to make a determination as to the terms of the new lease and both parties will be bound by the Court’s decision.

There are set notices which landlord and tenant serve to start the negotiation process for a new lease, and not less than 6 month’s notice must be given.

You may wish to consider instructing a surveyor at this stage to negotiate the terms of the new lease.  The new lease must be completed by the date given in the notice, otherwise a statutory compliant extension must be agreed or Court proceedings issued.  If none of these take place, the tenant loses their protection under the Act.

If you wish to retake possession there are only a few statutory grounds on which this is permitted.  You may have to offer the tenant alternative premises, or have to pay compensation on the basis of the premises’ rateable value.

We can help with the issuing of notices, extensions and countering Court proceedings for lease renewals, and also with exploring the options for refusing your tenant a new lease and what this requires you to do.

For advice and support please contact us on 0118 9209490.

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