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Dealing with your Existing Lease

Are you thinking about transferring your commercial lease to a new tenant, or subletting it?

Are you thinking about transferring your commercial lease to a new tenant, or subletting it?

As your business grows, you may find that the premises you already have are no longer suitable for your future needs. With over 60 years of experience in dealing with commercial leases of every kind imaginable, Everyman Legal can review your lease and provide you with clear legal advice in order to help you decide what action to take.  Depending on what you agreed with the landlord at outset, there are a variety of steps that you can take to dispose of a lease you no longer want. These include:

Transferring your lease to another tenant

Most leases allow you to do this so long as you obtain the consent of the landlord however your lease may require you to guarantee the obligations of the new tenant.  You may also only be able to assign the lease to someone who is regarded as acceptable by the landlord and who is willing to deposit a sum of money with the landlord or give a further guarantee.

Subletting your lease

Not all leases permit this.  Those that do are often very restrictive in what they permit you to do.  Again you will need to have the permission of the landlord to grant a sublease.

Waiting for your existing lease to come to an end

If you are near the end of your lease, you may wish to simply wait for it to come to an end.  In that case you need to make sure that you have taken any steps necessary to ensure then lease ends when it is meant to. See Ending your Lease for more information.  

Bringing your existing lease to an end early

You may have the right to operate a “break clause” which will bring your lease to an early end.  If you have such a right, you must plan in advance for its use otherwise you may find that you cannot give the notice to the landlord that the break clause requires or you cannot comply with any conditions you must meet. See Ending your Lease Early for more information.

Alternatively, you may be happy in your current premises and want to stay there after the existing lease term comes to an end.  In that case you need to know whether or not you have the right to remain after the lease has ended.  You can have this right either because of a clause in your existing lease or because the law gives you that right.

You should plan in advance what you want to happen at the end of the lease.  It is not too early to audit your lease and its terms and start thinking about what you want to do at least 18 months before the lease is due to end.  Even if you do not want to stay, moving out of your premises needs careful planning especially if you actually have a right to stay.  You may find yourself unable to end the lease when you expect to be able to do so. It is always a good idea to take early legal advice if you are considering extending, ending, assigning or subletting a lease too.

Our dedicated team of solicitors, based in Witney, Oxfordshire, would be happy to answer your questions.

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