24 July 2019

Leaving your premises, what are your options?

Regionally the news of British Steel’s collapse sent shock waves across the business community, with an estimated 25,000 jobs reliant on the industrial giant – either directly employed or within the extensive supply chain.

Talks are of course on-going and there have been hopes that a new buyer will be found. However, uncertainty remains and as it does so, local businesses that supported British Steel until recently, may well be seeking to restructure until futures are secured.

On the list of things to streamline in this period may well be the premises that are occupied – but what can a business do to either downsize or leave a building altogether? This may just be a short-term measure until the extra space is required once more or perhaps a more long-term strategy is required.

There are a number of things to action as a priority. The first being to consult the lease for the property to determine the length of term, the presence of any break clause and the conditions imposed upon the tenant, either specifically in relation to a break clause or more widely when handing back the premises to the landlord. Do remember, in relation to any conditions attached to a break clause, it is vital that all conditions are strictly adhered to – failure to do so could result in the break not being effective.

Secondly, the business owner should consider carefully whether to speak to the landlord and if this should be done promptly. Depending on their circumstances, a landlord may be more likely to be understanding if a business is transparent in its needs both now and in the future.

Either way, finding a solution that satisfies the needs of the tenant’s business and the landlord is surely the most amicable outcome. It’s hard to anticipate that any benefit can be gained from simply exiting with no notice – if that were to occur the landlord has the law on their side and can pursue the tenant for the full rent for the duration of the lease.

If you are a tenant or a landlord and wish to be advised on this or any other matter then please contact Laura Lougher on 01472 265991, email laura.lougher@wilkinchapman.co.uk or visit wilkinchapman.co.uk

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