Q&As

Where a new tenant intends to take assignment of a commercial lease excluded from security of tenure, but has agreed variations with the landlord principally for the lease to fall within the security of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and additional variations regarding liability for insurance and maintenance, can this be documented simply by way of a lease variation or should a new lease be completed?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 29/01/2018

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where a new tenant intends to take assignment of a commercial lease excluded from security of tenure, but has agreed variations with the landlord principally for the lease to fall within the security of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and additional variations regarding liability for insurance and maintenance, can this be documented simply by way of a lease variation or should a new lease be completed?
  • Variations generally
  • Security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954

It is frequently the case that a long commercial lease contains provisions allowing the assignment of that lease to a new lessee, often with specific conditions attached to the assignment. These may include the consent of the landlord and/or the inclusion of an authorised guarantee agreement.

Upon assignment, it may be the case that the assignee has negotiated further terms directly with the landlord. In this scenario, those terms include a provision that the lease be protected by Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954) giving security of tenure subject to the provisions of LTA 1954. Additional variations have also been agreed.

Variations generally

It is open to the landlord and the assignee to agree to vary the lease by way of a deed of variation, which has the effect of amending the operative provisions of the existing lease in line with the provisions of the deed. This is often a straightforward method of making minor revisions to an existing lease.

However, in some cases a variation of a lease will amount to a deemed surrender of the existing lease and a grant of a new lease,

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