Q&As

Where a tenant remains in occupation after the contractual expiry of a contracted-out business lease, what is the nature of that occupation?

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Produced in partnership with Georgia Whiting of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 16/03/2018

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

  • Where a tenant remains in occupation after the contractual expiry of a contracted-out business lease, what is the nature of that occupation?

Where a tenant remains in occupation after the contractual expiry of a contracted-out business lease, what is the nature of that occupation?

The basic proposition is that where a lease has effectively excluded the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954), the tenant will have no right to claim a new lease at the end of the contractual term.

However, a common scenario in such situations is the tenant ‘holding over’ after the expiry of the fixed term, that is to say, failing to leave. This may be for a number of reasons, such as ongoing negotiation between the parties as to the terms of a new lease or simply through inadvertently maintaining the status quo and treating the lease as continuing. Often, there will not be a written contract between the parties to stipulate the rights and legal status of the occupier during this period.

Where there is no formalised relationship after the expiry of the contractual term, the occupier will either be a tenant at will or a subject to a periodic tenancy. The distinction is an important one, as the legal rights and protections differ significantly.

In particular, where a new periodic tenancy has arisen, this will automatically be a protected tenancy pursuant to LTA

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