For tenants occupying most types of commercial premises, there are statutory protections preventing landlords from refusing to renew leases when they expire, or raising the rent to unreasonable levels when granting a new lease. There are a few specific grounds on which the landlord can refuse to grant a new lease, but it must prove to a Court that these grounds exist and compensation is often payable to the tenant.
Formal notice in a prescribed form must be served by a landlord to bring the lease to an end, even when the term for which it was granted has expired. Failure to serve the correct notice means that the lease continues in existence on the same terms while the tenant remains in occupation of the property. There are strict time limits imposed on both parties which must be complied with or valuable rights can be lost. An application to Court may be required. If the tenant wishes to leave the premises after the expiry date, it must give the landlord a minimum of three months’ notice.
The protections enjoyed by business tenants also prevent landlords from insisting on major changes to the terms of the previous lease without good reason. The rent payable and the other terms of any new lease are often the subject of much negotiation between the landlord and tenant; the parties should take legal advice to ensure they are aware of what can be achieved.