Do I Have Any Rights to Stay in my Rented Shop?
Q.I have been renting a shop for two years, my contract has ran out and the landloard is putting the property up for sale. I have not been asked to leave; however, I am unsure of my rights. If the property was sold would I have any rights with a new landloard to still trade from the premises? Also, could a new landlord ask me to leave then rent it out for another use or could they use it for themselves as the same trade as me?
I have spent the last two years building up my customers. There are no other empty shops near by for me to use.
Landlord And Tenants Acts 1954Business tenants do have rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 just as private tenants do. This act was set out to protect the rights of business tenants with regards to both tenancy renewal agreements and rent control. Although your contract has ran out there are laws that require a landlord to renew the lease or tenancy agreement. This law was introduced to protect business tenants who have set themselves up in business and built up the business over a course of time.
A business tenant may have also made improvements to the premises and should be compensated by the landlord for these improvements. However, a great deal will depend on the terms and conditions of the contract. The tenancy agreement is a legally binding document signed and agreed by both parties. There may have been terms set into the contract regarding the business premises sale and the consequences to the tenant. But the law still exists regarding the rights to renew tenancy agreements, and the contract should be carefully checked to see if there were any clauses included regarding the sale of the property. A contract can only be used for a tenancy of not exceeding three years after that a lease must be provided.
Legal Reasons For RepossessionThat said, there are only a few legal reasons that can be sited for a landlord refusing to renew a tenancy agreement. These reasons are that the tenant has failed to behave properly and not complied with the lease terms. The landlord can provide a suitable alternative business tenancy for the tenant. The landlord wishes to demolish the property. The landlord has decided to use the premises for either business or accommodation purposes. The landlord will suffer financially if the tenant has their contract or lease renewed. These are the only reasons that a landlord should be able to use when trying to repossess business premises.
Your first point of call should be to see a business or legal advisor who can inspect the contract and advise you of your next course of action. This may ultimately end up as a legal matter for the courts to decide upon. Remember, where contracts are concerned there could have been terms and conditions placed into the agreement but this does not necessarily make the contract legally enforceable.