Most landlord and tenant relationships are made legally binding by a lease. A lease is a formal agreement which sets out various rules for both parties to follow. Properties rented with no commercial lease are more likely to end in disputes. The lease should cover things like:
- Names, addresses and contact details of parties plus the address of the property concerned
- Length of term, break clauses and renewal rights
- Rent deposits, guarantees and reviews
- Assignment and subletting
- Service charges
- Alterations and changes of use
- Ongoing management
- Rates & utilities
- Repairs, maintenance and dilapidations
- Rent arrears & forfeiture of lease
- Fixtures and fittings included
In general, the more detail the lease covers, the better – it will save on solicitors’ fees or forfeiture costs in the future. The lease must be signed in order for it to be legally binding. If you have no commercial lease in place, you can download a sample Heads of Terms here.
Forfeiture and eviction
Commercial landlords need to ensure that the lease includes the right to forfeiture if the tenant fails to keep rent payments. This is your right to lock the tenant out if they don’t pay. You will need to instruct Dukes with a Warrant to Forfeit. Residential landlords will usually need to go through the courts to evict a tenant.
What can I do if no commercial lease is in place?
If there is no commercial lease in place, commercial landlords still have the right lock tenants out. You will need to instruct Dukes with a Warrant of Possession. This authorises us to lock out the tenant or squatter and secure the premises by changing the locks. Dukes Enforcement Agents will attend with a locksmith when the tenant is not present. The tenant will then have to contact Dukes to gain access to the premises to retrieve their goods. This access can be supervised by Dukes Enforcement Agents at a cost to the tenant.