Commercial Lease Renewal

Expert guidance on 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 us


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 solicitors in London today.

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. 22.3.2024

      The Death of Section 21: A Review of the...

      The 2019 Conservative Manifesto made a commitment to end “no fault evictions”. This has now been set out in the proposed...

      Read more
    2. 22.3.2024

      Client successful in TOLATA proceedings

      The case related to proceedings under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“TOLATA”) in respect of joint...

      Read more
    3. 23.1.2024

      The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill and Service...

      The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill was introduced to Parliament on 27 November 2023 with the aim of delivering on the government’...

      Read more
    4. 23.1.2024

      Will 2024 bring changes to the conveyancing process?

      The National Trading Standard Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) has recently released new guidance relating to information on both...

      Read more
    5. 23.1.2024

      Know your Rights (of Way)

      If you have a question or concern over a right of way on your property, it is important to seek...

      Read more
    6. 23.1.2024

      Party Wall Etc Act 1996 v Common Law

      The case of Power & Kyson & Shah [2023] EWICA Civ 239 brought in question the interrelationship between common law and the...

      Read more
    7. notting hill coloured houses

      The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill 2024

      As of the 27th November 2023 “Bill 13” has been introduced in the House of Commons. The passage of the bill could...

      Read more
    8. Kings Speech

      Leasehold update: A new Leasehold and Freehold Bill...

      Yesterday, 7th November 2023, in the King’s Speech we heard the following: “My Ministers will bring forward a bill to...

      Read more
    9. 27.10.2023

      The Building Safety Act 2022

      This much awaited Act was introduced into Parliament on 5th May 2021 as a consequence of the Hackitt Report on Building...

      Read more
    10. service charges

      “Reasonableness” of Service Charges

      It is well known that the relevant costs that a landlord incurs in the provision of services, repairs improvements, maintenance...

      Read more
    11. House-Finsbury-Park

      Declaration of Trust for Property

      If you are buying a property jointly, you may want to consider making a declaration of trust to record your...

      Read more
    12. kensington apartments

      Lease Extension Negligence

      What is Lease Extension Negligence? Solicitors Negligence when a Tenant claims a new lease of a flat under the Leasehold...

      Read more
    13. tate modern london

      Overlooking Nuisance Claims

      Overlooking Nuisance Claims – net curtains not necessarily! I refer to the article which concerned the...

      Read more
    14. cars on portobello road

      Rent Repayment Order: Rakusen v Jepsen

      Rakusen v Jepsen & Others 2023 Judgement was given in this case on the 1st March 2023 and when it was settled...

      Read more
    15. 10.5.2023

      Government Announces Leasehold Reforms

      The government announced in 2021 the introduction of various leasehold reforms which will affect the leasehold system for properties in England...

      Read more
    16. kyance mews london

      Transfer of Equity Stamp Duty

      Do I Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax When Transferring Property into My Partner’s Name? When it comes to property...

      Read more
    17. apartments in london

      Shared Ownership Stamp Duty

      Do you pay stamp duty on shared ownership? When you buy a new shared ownership property, you are given two...

      Read more
    18. little venice in London

      Severance of a Joint Tenancy

      Severing a Joint Tenancy Normally, when couples buy a property together they do so as joint tenants. This means they...

      Read more
    19. camden lock

      Tenants in Common vs Joint Tenants

      Tenants in Common vs Joint Tenants: Which is best for buying a property together? When buying a property with someone...

      Read more
    20. Japanese Knotweed

      Japanese Knotweed: Knot in my backyard again!

      Many will have read the recent case in which a furniture designer pursued his seller successfully after he moved into...

      Read more
    21. door handle with a key

      Stamp duty tax to remain the same until 2025

      Good news for buyers as the current SDLT rates will remain until 2025 Buyers looking to purchase this year will be...

      Read more
    22. Concerned upset millennial couple

      Half of UK renters worried they will not...

      As rent rises for the majority of UK renters, half are worried they will not be able to afford it...

      Read more
    23. grand union walk camden

      First-time buyer stamp duty exemption

      Stamp duty is the bane of every home buyer, with only first-time buyers being exempt from paying the tax if...

      Read more
    24. london property

      TOLATA Claims

      What are trusts of land? Property ownership is not always a straightforward legal issue, particularly where the parties are cohabitees...

      Read more