When tenants seek to vacate premises, reduce the size of their premises or renegotiate their leases, problems can be created for landlords.
Here are some tips for landlords to help deal with tenants when a break clause in a lease is looming:
- Be ready. Do your research on your tenant and try to anticipate their stance. Get up-to-date accounts and look at their operation. A short visit can often be very illuminating;
- Be ready to remarket your property if negotiations with your tenant break down or they wish to terminate. Put together a pack containing all the necessary planning consents, searches and so on, so a prospective new tenant is in possession of all the information they need to make a decision straight away;
- Make sure you know when and how notices must be issued. The notice you receive from your tenant may not be valid;
- If your tenant wishes to renegotiate their lease, make sure you know your market and can ascertain what their other options might be. Also, consider asking for better security;
- If you think the tenant is likely to default, remember that your right to repossession of the property may be delayed unless you act first;
- Make sure you have evidence of the state of the premises when let initially so you have good grounds on which to base your claim for dilapidations; and
- Make sure you are fully familiar with the terms of the lease, in particular the notice provisions - a notice to terminate may be invalid if it does not comply with the terms set out in the lease.