Commercial Lease Renewal

Expert guidance on commercial lease renewals

Our commercial property lawyers are here to help and guide landlords and tenants who are coming to the end of a commercial lease term. We have a wealth of experience in dealing with business lease renewals, both in opposed and unopposed cases.

Contact

Commercial Lease Renewal Process

This page will guide you through the process and answer many of your questions about each party’s rights and obligations under The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. You will learn more about the commercial property solicitors at Osbornes, including how our approach to lease renewal negotiations can result in positive outcomes for your business.

Business leases come in all shapes and sizes. We represent both landlords and tenants with commercial lease renewals, and our experience covers all types of commercial property including office, retail, industrial and leisure premises. Our solicitors work with everything from high street takeaways to flagship stores with multi-million-pound rents.

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (‘the 1954 Act’) provides stability for business tenants and gives them ‘security of tenure’ in most cases. If the lease enjoys the protection of Part II of the 1954 Act, it will not automatically come to an end when the fixed term expires. Rather, the tenant has the right to apply for a new tenancy and the landlord must grant this request unless there is a specific legal reason to oppose the renewal.

If you are a landlord or a tenant of commercial premises, you will need to make some decisions in plenty of time as the term of the lease comes to an end. Our aim is to help you take the right course of action that’s best for your business. This might include:

  • Applying for a lease renewal under the 1954 Act
  • Opposing a lease renewal, if a statutory reason applies
  • Negotiating terms for renewing the lease
  • Asking the Court to make a decision if the parties cannot come to an agreement
  • Forming alternative plans

For expert advice, please call our specialist lease renewal solicitors today.

Commercial Lease Renewal FAQs

What is the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954?

Most business leases are protected under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, a piece of legislation that ensures a landlord cannot throw the tenant out onto the street when their business lease comes to an end.

The Act gives tenants two basic protections:

  • The right to remain in the premises at the same rent and on the same terms after the lease comes to an end; and
  • The right to automatically renew their lease in certain circumstances.

Some leases are not protected by the 1954 Act. Usually, this happens where the parties have built a clause into the original lease to opt-out of the Act’s protections. A commercial lease renewal solicitor will be able to tell you if the tenant has the right to renew. If they do not, the lease will end on a specified date and the tenant must vacate the property.

Who can initiate a commercial lease renewal?

Either the landlord or tenant can initiate the lease renewal procedure. The 1954 Act sets out a strict procedure and time limits for the service of notices, counter notices and a court application. The time limits are critical – if they are missed, the right to renew the lease may be lost.

The landlord can activate the lease renewal procedure by serving a section 25 notice. This will state a termination date for the tenancy between six and 12 months from the date of the notice. The notice indicates whether the landlord will oppose a lease renewal and, if the landlord does object, clearly state a reason why they do not wish to grant a new lease.

A tenant can activate the lease renewal procedure by serving a Section 26 notice seeking a new lease and proposing the terms for a new tenancy. The same time frames apply, so it is important to start thinking about your options around a year before the lease comes to an end.

Can a landlord refuse to renew a lease?

A landlord cannot refuse a lease renewal simply because they do not like the tenant. They can, however, oppose the renewal for one of the specified grounds laid down in the 1954 Act. The most common reasons are:

  • Repeated non-payment of rent
  • Tenant’s failure to repair the premises
  • The landlord wants to occupy the premises for the purpose of its own business
  • The landlord wishes to redevelop the property

For a full list of permitted reasons, it’s best to get in touch with a legal professional. You will need to take specific actions depending on the circumstances. The lease will continue until appropriate action is taken which may not be your business goal.

What will be the terms of the new lease?

Once both parties agree that the lease will continue, the next step is negotiating the new terms. These terms can be whatever the parties agree. If they can’t agree, a Judge can decide the terms. In reality, it is extremely rare to go to court as most renewal leases are agreed between the parties and their professional advisors.

As a rule of thumb, the new lease will follow the terms of the old lease unless there is a good reason to make a change. The new rent generally will be the open market rent at the time of the lease renewal. Surveyors can determine the new rent and agree other key terms such as the term of the new lease and any break clauses.

How can a solicitor help with my lease renewal?

Commercial lease renewals can be complicated and time-consuming, and they often require a joined-up approach from commercial property solicitors and property litigation solicitors. It is critical to be proactive and diarise key dates; otherwise, the right to renew the lease (or oppose its renewal) may be lost.

In addition, the parties will want to avoid other problems associated with lease expiry such as unwanted tenants remaining in occupation, or the tenant having an ‘irregular’ occupation and being vulnerable to losing the property. Hiring a solicitor is essential to avoid any unintended consequences.

At Osbornes, we offer a responsive service, with expert solicitors always on hand to give astute and pragmatic advice. Our approach is to get a thorough understanding of your business and its commercial goals, so that we can help you achieve the outcomes you’re trying to achieve.

Why choose Osbornes for a commercial lease renewal?

As commercial lease specialists with more than 40 years’ experience, Osbornes has in-depth knowledge of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and all aspects of commercial property law, to help you achieve your business objectives. Our clients give the following reasons why they choose to work with us:

  • Breadth of experience in both unopposed and contentious lease renewal claims
  • Professional and proactive approach
  • Featured in the 2021 Spears 500 directory in recognition of our high standard of advice in commercial property law
  • Clear, solutions-focused advice from a team that understands the commercial issues as well as the legal issues
  • Accessibility and ability to communicate complex legal concepts in a non-technical way

Contact us today for a free initial consultation on your commercial lease renewal options. We are happy to answer all of your questions.

Contact our Commercial Property Lawyers

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    • Professional and communicative throughout the process of becoming a Freehold Company and having a share of said freehold. Both Amber and Siroop spoke in plain English and were most efficient and pleasant to deal with.

      Trustpilot review

    • Amber was fantastic from start to finish. Efficient, clear and professional. Will certainly be calling on her again.

      JQ, Trustpilot

    • Guy and his team assisted me with a new lease venture and were an absolute pleasure to work with. A professional & knowledgeable team who offered fast and excellent advice. Highly recommend their services

      Qasam A, Trustpilot

    Property News & InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. 26.11.2021

      The new Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill

      On the 9th November 2021 the Government announced the new draft Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill. It is proposed that a new...

      Read more
    2. 9.11.2021

      Can I still claim adverse possession?

      The principle of “adverse possession” commonly known as “squatters rights” is a principle which allows a person who does not...

      Read more
    3. party wall disputes
      5.10.2021

      Buying a property where a Party Wall Award...

      Buying a property can already be a stressful process but finding out that the vendor has been served with a...

      Read more
    4. 1.10.2021

      Commercial rent arrears options post-Covid

      Whilst we are reminded every day that Covid is very much still with us and that the public should still...

      Read more
    5. flats in london
      28.9.2021

      Step by Step Guide to Extending your Lease

      If the lease on your flat is getting short – under 80 years is the key age of a lease – don’t...

      Read more
    6. 24.9.2021

      First Time Buyers Tax Relief Reminder

      First-time buyers have been urged to make the most of a ‘forgotten tax relief’ that could save them thousands of...

      Read more
    7. 26.6.2021

      The Risks Of Buying Properties Off Plan!

      The Daily Mail reported recently that 300 families a week are having to move into shoddy newly built homes. Not all...

      Read more
    8. 7.5.2021

      Costly clauses missed by lawyers in leasehold contracts

      A mum has been left facing a bill of millions of pounds a year for the ground rent of her...

      Read more
    9. 15.3.2021

      Extension on Commercial Property eviction ban

      Despite the Government announcing in December 2020 that the extension of the moratorium on enforcement action until the 31st March would...

      Read more
    10. 30.1.2021

      Internal Structural Alterations To Your Leasehold Property

      Over the past few years, stories about unfair leasehold practices have been cropping up with greater frequency. As reported by...

      Read more
    11. 8.1.2021

      Leasehold Reform: Should I still be looking to...

      The first questions to address for most leaseholders are:  What is a lease? And, when and why should you consider...

      Read more
    12. 10 top tips
      5.1.2021

      10 Top Tips to Avoid Delays When Selling Your...

      Thinking about marketing your property for sale? Simon Nosworthy, Head of Residential Conveyancing at Osbornes sets out his top 10 tips...

      Read more
    13. camden high street
      9.12.2020

      Business eviction ban extended

      The Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced today (9th December 2020) that business owners affected by the pandemic will have protection from...

      Read more
    14. 27.11.2020

      Huge house moving delays could leave thousands having...

      Thousands of homebuyers could unwittingly have to pay up to £15,000 when the stamp duty holiday ends because of huge delays...

      Read more
    15. 21.9.2020

      Coronavirus and commercial property – Update

      On the 16th September the Government extended the current moratorium on the enforcement action that commercial landlords can take against...

      Read more
    16. lottery ticket
      7.8.2020

      House buyers and sellers should be wary of ‘...

      Property raffles are a legal minefield and many are too good to be true, according to a leading lawyer. There...

      Read more
    17. 7.8.2020

      Property Litigation lawyer, Shilpa Mathuradas quoted in Inside...

      House buyers and sellers should be wary of ‘too good to be true’ property raffles Shilpa Mathuradas, Head of Property...

      Read more
    18. 22.7.2020

      Law Commission recommendations have potential to change the...

      Today the Law Commission of England and Wales published recommendations with the potential to transform home ownership, including making it...

      Read more
    19. 23.6.2020

      Commercial Property Covid-19 Code of Practice

      As well as extending the current moratoriums on forfeiture of leases based on arrears of rent, extending the arrears of...

      Read more
    20. 28.5.2020

      COVID-19 increases risk of Property Fraud

      Since the Government placed England in lockdown, in March, due to COVID-19 empty properties across England have likely gone unchecked....

      Read more
    21. 27.5.2020

      Post lockdown conditions have created a perfect time...

      A short-term drop in housing prices caused by Covid-19 and the existing low cost of borrowing have created the ‘perfect...

      Read more
    22. 20.5.2020

      Frustration and Force Majeure – Does COVID-19 operate to...

      In these unprecedented times, many business owners may be wondering if there is any way that they can cancel or...

      Read more
    23. hampstead house
      15.5.2020

      To move or to improve? Legal considerations when...

      In an uncertain property market many of us are looking to stay put and make what we already have better...

      Read more
    24. 13.5.2020

      Property Market Gets The Green Light!

      Buyers, Sellers, Estate Agents, Solicitors, Mortgage Companies, Surveyors and many more have been waiting since March for the Government to...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL