Commercial Property

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  Granting a business lease As a Landlord of commercial property you may wish to grant a new lease to a business tenant. However it is important to bear in mind that the grant of a new lease to a tenant occupying the property (even if it's only part of the property) for business purposes, will fall within the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954; unless the Act is specifically excluded. In fact a business tenant can be afforded security...

Emma Reed led the Corporate legal team at Slee Blackwell in the acquisition of the entire share capital of the group owning Somerforde Care Home. The care home in Newton Abbot is a 22 bedroomed residential care home for the elderly, fully occupied, with a staff of 21 with both private and NHS contracts. It was bought by husband and wife team, Jon and Jules Lobb. The latest CQC report for the care home, before purchase, was good and it is...

Owners of certain rights and interests in land may need to take swift steps to protect them, writes property solicitor, Iain Robinson of Slee Blackwell Solicitors’ Barnstaple office in North Devon. As of October 2013, some types of rights over land, including those often reserved to the lord of the manor, may not survive that land being bought and sold. If you have the benefit any of these rights (and you need not be a lord of the manor for this...

A recent High Court decision is likely to provide welcome relief to landlords who are being pursued by local authorities in respect of tenants that have failed to pay their council tax. The court decided that a landlord was not liable for council tax where the property was held not to be a house in multiple occupation (HMO). What is an HMO for council tax purposes? A property will be an HMO if it satisfies one of the following criteria: It was...

In these difficult times Landlords are increasingly finding their Tenants are experiencing difficulties in paying their rent. Whilst it is always possible for a Landlord and a Tenant to agree a temporary reduction in rent or a change in frequency of rent payment (ie monthly rather than quarterly) in the hope of retaining the tenant this does not always produce the desired result and the Landlord could be left out of pocket. If the Tenant becomes or is about to become...

The imminent election has forced the Government to drop planned tax rises on holiday lets and phonelines and to reverse the extra tax on cider as of the end of June. The Prime Minister called an election on 6 April. This means Parliament is to be dissolved on 8 April and the Government has to push through important legislation quickly. To speed things up it does deals with opposition parties, cutting out contentious measures so that MPs allow the rest through...

Many tenants of commercial are likely to have been adversely affected by the economic downturn and may, as a consequence, be struggling to pay the rent due under the terms of their lease. Landlords should be aware of the following if a tenant fails to pay the rent due under the terms of a commercial lease: The tenant may become liable to pay interest (often at a rate higher than bank base rate) on the unpaid rent. The tenant may...

In these difficult economic times Tenants of commercial premises are increasingly asking Landlords to permit them to pay rent monthly instead of quarterly to assist cash flow. If the Landlord’s property is in charge to a bank it is usual for the terms of lending to assume that rent will be paid quarterly. So, if a Landlord accepts monthly rent they could inadvertently commit a breach of the terms of their lending....

Stamp Duty Land Tax was introduced in December 2003 and land tax was based on the first 5 years rent. Consideration must now be given as to whether more tax is payable or if a rebate is due. However, be aware that the Inland Revenue will be looking at any anti-avoidance schemes where the rent was initially artificially low and on a review after 5 years the rent has increased by more than 20% per annum....

Personal Licence When purchasing a licensed premises you need to decide who will have the overall control over the sale and supply of alcohol. This person is called the Designated Premises Supervisor (‘DPS’). At least one of you needs to hold a Personal Licence and once they have a personal licence they can then apply to be the DPS on completion of the purchase. In order to obtain a personal licence you will need: the National Certificate of Personal Licence Holders Certificate....