Commercial Lease renewal of an office block

Date of Case:2018 through to 2020
Key Issue(s):

Commercial Lease renewal of an office block pursuant to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954

What We Did:

We acted on behalf of the landlord in a complex Lease renewal which involved negotiating the introduction of new terms into the Lease in relation to a break clause and repairing obligations in light of significant dilapidations at the premises under the current tenancy.

We assisted the client to finally reach an amicable agreement in relation to the terms of the Lease to their satisfaction using Professional Arbitration on Court Terms (“PACT”), thereby avoiding a court determination, which significantly reduced the overall costs. We worked closely with the valuer in relation to the rental negotiations to introduce a stepped rent to the satisfaction of the client.

Scope of Work:

This client holds a number of freehold commercial properties and my assistance was required in relation to the property dispute resolution side.

Case Details:

This commercial Lease renewal, pursuant to the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, resulted in negotiations in relation to a number of the covenants under the terms of the Lease, with the tenant seeking a new shorter term than the outgoing Lease term. In addition to that, there were extensive negotiations in relation to the level of rent, new break clause, the current condition of the premises and the tenant’s reluctance to undertake necessary repair works.

With changing times, tenants are seeking more flexible lease terms, with break clauses, even within a shorter lease term.

The landlord’s flexibility assisted in the ability to retain a tenant with a strong covenant, whilst still preserving the overall investment value of the freehold title. Our role was to assist in reaching an amicable resolution with the use of PACT, rather than court determination, which considerably reduced the overall costs and the time it would have taken to obtain a court determination. By using PACT it was possible to have more control over the process and therefore ultimately, the overall result.

Process:

On behalf of the landlord we served the Section 25 Notice upon the tenant and then assisted in the negotiations, appointing a surveyor as arbitrator in the PACT process and ultimately reaching a negotiated agreement on the terms of the new Lease.

Outcome:

The commercial Lease was renewed for a further 5 year term to the satisfaction of the client.

Head of Dispute Resolution Department

Senior Associate

Associate

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