Commercial lease forfeiture

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by jeff lang, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 0
    I have had a lease on a property for ten years, I recently renewed to another ten year lease. A few months back I decided to change the business use to a coffee shop which the freeholder wanted £6000 for to give me permission, I'm a sub tenant but the tenant dropped the debt on me. However as it's a new business and this charge is way out of what I can afford I am having trouble paying my rent this quarter. I've never missed a payment in ten years prior to this. It is now past the 14 day period on my tenancy that says the lease can be forfeited but my landlord won't reply to my emails about it. Is there a time limit after the 14 days that he has to say if he's forfeiting or can it be whenever he wants. Thanks for any help.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #1
  2. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I would suggest make any payment what you can and make arrangements to pay the rest ASAP and notify the landlord of your plan and the reasons
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
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  3. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    While landlords can start action they may well be willing to talk and sort out payment and arrears.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #3
  4. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    The issue I have is he's not replying to me at all. He won't say if he wants to figure something out for me to repay or just forfeit the lease. There must be a timescale for him to have to notify me of either. I'm willing to work out anything with him as I've been a great tenant for over ten years now. Also, the climate for business down here is awful at the moment so he could be left with an empty unit.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #4
  5. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 0
    The issue I have is he's not replying to me at all. He won't say if he wants to figure something out for me to repay or just forfeit the lease. There must be a timescale for him to have to notify me of either. I'm willing to work out anything with him as I've been a great tenant for over ten years now. Also, the climate for business down here is awful at the moment so he could be left with an empty unit.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #5
  6. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Is he around and receiving the emails / calls?
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #6
  7. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    He's not answering calls or replying to emails but I've seen him active on favebook. Last email I had was 22nd December.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
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  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    So may not be in work.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #8
  9. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 0
    That could be the case. He is just a landlord though with no other businesses and a very inexperienced one. The change of business use alone caused him massive panic. I've been running businesses and dealing with landlords for years but my only question (which Google doesn't seem to have an answer to) from the off, is does he have a time limit to forfeit my lease from the date set on my tenancy or can he keep me hanging on for as long as it suits him? If it's being forfeited I need to get another property asap.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #9
  10. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    What is the sub lease all about, thats unusual for a long term period and would not the payments go to the leaseholder anyway rather than the landlord
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
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  11. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 0
    I took the unit on and was paying direct to the freeholder, so I was a tenant and he was my landlord. He then sold the lease to the guy I now pay rent to making me a subtenant which I have been since 2009. When I wanted to change business use the guy who I pay rent to told me it was fine and to put planning in, he then asked the freeholder if the business use could be changed and they said yes but for £6000. He has now passed this on to me causing me major problems especially as I'm trying to get a new business off the ground. And obviously it's caused me an issue paying my rent with the extra but he won't reply saying if he's planning on forfeiting if i can't make the payment. My solicitor told me not to pay the £6000 at all as the leaseholder said it was fine and didn't check with the freeholder before giving me permission. I've followed my lease to the letter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #11
  12. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    All I really need to know is is there a legal amount of time he can hold out without telling me he's forfeiting the lease or that we're going to work something out.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #12
  13. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I would say that i have heard of landlords entering the premises at night or when close , changing the locks and claiming the stock for non payment of rent, I don't know how true this is or if they have to give any time limit or information before they act, your solicitor should know and at this stage maybe a good idea to route everything through him/her
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #13
  14. parkingandsecurity

    parkingandsecurity UKBF Regular Full Member

    117 17
    Whilst the rent if overdue he can enter at any time without notice.
    Your will you? Won't you? Emails wont help you and may rub him up the wrong way. Instead just drop an email stating what you can afford to pay and when you can afford to pay the rest. Presuming as you were willing to chuck £6k into getting him to agree to change of use (which seems like an odd amount unless the use is worth less to him in terms of re-letting) then the cafe will be making money soon? If so how much can you pay now and when can you pay the rest? The risk is if your rent is monthly and you dont pay by the first of the next month you will be further in arrears and much harder to keep him onside.
     
    Posted: Jan 9, 2019 By: parkingandsecurity Member since: Sep 7, 2018
    #14
  15. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 0
    Hi, I really don't want to come across the wrong way here. I'm well aware of my rights with him entering the premises to change locks etc and that we should be trying to sort a payment plan out as much to suit him as well as me due to the amount of empty units in that area he would be better keeping a tenant who's never missed a payment before as opposed to hoping he can fill a unit with a potential bad tenant. I wasn't willing to chuck him £6000 at all, that is what the freeholder charged him for change of business use and he tried passing it on to me which my solicitor laughed at. The question I have been trying to get an answer to from the very beginning is really simple. After the 14 day period on my lease that I have to settle any rent is there a time limit to when he has to notify me of his intentions to either forfeit or arrange a payment plan or can he just let me carry on trading with no idea where I stand with the rent arrears? Personally I would have thought that the day after the 14 period was up he should notify me of forfeiture but I can't get hold of him. I personally would be chasing me for it. Hopefully someone can get the gist of what I'm asking. Thanks.
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #15
  16. parkingandsecurity

    parkingandsecurity UKBF Regular Full Member

    117 17
    1)The landlord does not need to notify you
    2)There is no limit on how quickly he must act nor at which point he can no longer act
    3)As an operational business he would be better using CRAR (Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery) to recover the money which DOES PREVENT him from forfeiting you in the same rental period.
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: parkingandsecurity Member since: Sep 7, 2018
    #16
  17. kulture

    kulture UKBF Legend Staff Member

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    You really should go to a solicitor regarding the whole arrangement. It is not clear who is your landlord nor if they have a right to this money, nor if you have any security.
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: kulture Member since: Aug 11, 2007
    #17
  18. jeff lang

    jeff lang UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 0
    I think finally parkingandsecurity has answered the question. There's no time limit so in theory he can turn up in a year and forfeit the lease. I have had legal advice on everything else. The £6000 is his problem as I followed my sub lease to the letter and he didn't follow his head lease at all. Apparently my landlord is the lease holder and I have been told I'm not allowed to have contact with the freeholder as it's a heirarchy and I'm bottom of the barrel so I don't get to deal with them. I know this is a load of ******** though. Not forfeiting and going through CRAR wouldn't be a good option for him as there's very little he could take that would amount to anywhere near what I owe. Sounds like he needs to find an amicable solution with me or just forfeit. My solicitor advised forfeiture when he read that the leaseholder was trying to make the £6000 my problem. Thanks guys.
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: jeff lang Member since: Jul 4, 2018
    #18
  19. parkingandsecurity

    parkingandsecurity UKBF Regular Full Member

    117 17
    Is it worth you staying there? If there are regular issues maybe its in your interest to move away anyway ?
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: parkingandsecurity Member since: Sep 7, 2018
    #19
  20. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown UKBF Legend Free Member

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    You wanted the change of use so why on earth do you not consider you should pay all the costs involved, planning applications costs money

    You are a sub lease to the leaser so why should the landlord worry about it, no doubt it goes down the chain so the landlord claims any money due from the leaser who does the same to you
     
    Posted: Jan 10, 2019 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #20