Acting for Landlords

Our dedicated Landlord team understands the pressures Landlords face on a day to day basis. 

There is very little help for landlords who are desperately trying to let commercial or residential property in an ever-changing climate.  Whilst Landlords may look to provide tenants with lots of business incentives, such as rent-free periods or minimal term tenancies, the reality is that many landlords are faced with huge business rate demands and dilapidating properties.

How can Nowell Meller Landlord Team Help?

First of all, understanding landlord concerns is a starting point!  If our landlord client needs support with vacant buildings, whether by way of Business Rates relief, dilapidation claims or alternative rental income, we will assist or signpost our clients to the local professionals.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for initial guidance.

Dilapidations

It is unfortunate when a tenant is unable to fulfil its legal obligations under the terms of a tenancy.  Whatever the back story, a landlord can be left in a position where its building has been handed over or left in worst condition than it was handed over.  If a tenant has not limited its liability by including a schedule of condition within the lease (a set of photographs and description of the unit), then whilst the landlord may be in a stronger position – they may not wish to spend thousands of pounds instructing Solicitors and surveyors to argue the point.  The landlord may wish to negotiate with the tenant to avoid court action and reach an amicable settlement.  In such circumstances, the Disputes Resolution team at Nowell Meller can open the dialogue and offer some creative ways of resolving the dispute so please give us a call on at our Stafford office on 01785 252377 or our Stoke on Trent office on 01782 813315.

Assignment

The majority of leases allow a tenant to obtain consent from landlords to assigning (transferring) their interest to another party. 

Each lease may be different – so our dedicated landlord team, can help clients understand what they can – and what they can’t – request.

Most leases require landlords to act reasonably – but the lease may set out what is reasonable.  For example, a lease may say it is not unreasonable for the landlord to ask for a rent deposit when the tenant does not have a reasonable trading history.

The landlord’s consent is called a Licence to Assign.   The tenant is usually responsible for the landlord’s fees, and once the incoming tenant (called the Assignee) has been approved, then the landlords Solicitor provides a draft Licence.   The Licence is approved by the tenant and the assignee Solicitor.   

The tenant and assignee Solicitor usually send the draft assignment of the lease (Assignment) to the landlord Solicitor for approval.  Once approved it is signed by the tenant and the assignee.

An incoming tenant may well be purchasing the tenant business – but approval of the Assignment is absolutely essential.  We work hard with landlords to deal proactively with tenant requests, approve any new Assignee, obtain references, provide and agree final documentation.

Some of this may require our landlord client to view premises to ensure all decorating and repairing obligations have been complied with before consent is given.  Our clients may not fully understand whether tenants have satisfied the lease terms so we can sign-post for expert surveyor advice if necessary. 

Rent Deposits

Landlords can understandably be concerned when they are taking on a tenant who has no previous trading history.  In these circumstances, landlords may ask for a personal guarantee (if for example the tenant is a new company) or they may request a sum of money be set aside during the life of the lease which can be used if, for example, the tenant does not pay the rent on time or look after the premises as required.

We can guide clients through this process and explain how a rental deposit works if all does not go to plan.

For further advice, call either our Stafford office on 01785 252377 or Stoke on Trent office on 01782 813315.