Commercial property client stories

Every case is unique. Every client issue personal. Illustrated below are a selection of client stories where we have delivered practical commercial solutions.

Successful resolution of a dispute between a landlord and a restaurant concerning noise

Our client landlord owned a block with commercial units on the ground floor and residential flats on the two upper floors. The restaurant on the ground floor was a restaurant for the first part of the evening but then turned into a night club after dinner had been served. The resultant noise caused a disturbance to the flat owners above and the Environmental Health Department became involved after receiving complaints from the flat owners. As it was shortly before Christmas, we obtained an emergency injunction to prevent the playing of loud music late in the evening, an injunction which was upheld at a contested High Court trial six months later.

Successful recovery of rent arrears from a commercial tenant

Our client landlord had a commercial tenant who, despite sub-letting his four units at a substantial profit, consistently refused to pay his rent and service charges when they fell due. The arrears built up substantially, to which point we took legal action. Over the course of a year and involving six separate actions (including debt, insolvency and forfeiture proceedings), we recovered all the arrears and interest. Considerable legal costs had been incurred by this point and so a final claim was brought to recover these costs under the cost recovery clause in the leases. Following a mediation, our client landlord successfully recovered its legal costs as well. To find out more about the importance of a cost recovery clause, click here.

Successful recovery of unpaid rent and dilapidations from previous tenant

Our client landlord had a claim for substantial arrears and dilapidations. It did not appear that the current tenant would be able to satisfy the claim and so we turned our attention to the former tenant, who had guaranteed the obligations of the current tenant. The necessary notices were served on the former tenant and following the issue of proceedings and a contested application, judgment was obtained. Research into the former tenant’s assets revealed a property in his name from which he was deriving an income. We duly obtained a charging order over this property and the former tenant is now repaying the judgment plus interest to our client on an agreed installment basis.

Defective service of a break notice

Our client landlord owned the freehold of an office block. One of his tenants vacated the leased premises as part of the re-organisation of their business. The tenant then sought to exercise a break clause in the lease. However, there were technical deficiencies with the actual break notice and the way in which it was served. Following correspondence with the tenant’s solicitors and under threat of proceedings, the tenant conceded that their efforts to break the lease had failed. The landlord thereby protected his rental income from this tenant.

Successful recovery of premises let under a business tenancy

The provision of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 prevents landlords from recovering possession of their premises except on very specific grounds and there must be appropriate evidence to prove those grounds. Our client landlord owned a mixed residential and commercial block, but they needed to regain possession of the part let on business tenancies so that they could demolish and reconstruct the entire building. We carefully prepared the supporting evidence to satisfy the court and serve the necessary notices. Shortly after the issue of proceedings, the tenants decided not to contest the actions and vacated the premises.

Acting on behalf of commercial tenants in business lease renewals

Whilst the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 protects tenants’ rights to renew their business tenancies, the Act also imposes critical deadlines on the tenants to carry out particular actions by certain dates. Working seamlessly with other firms of solicitors who were handling the non-contentious aspects of the lease renewal, we have ensured that the necessary actions were completed by the required deadlines.  

Successful recovery of compensation from a landlord

Our client tenant had moved out of their business premises because the landlord required possession for their own purposes. As such, our client tenant was entitled to substantial compensation from the landlord under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Correspondence ensued with the landlord's solicitors and shortly after the issue of proceedings, compensation plus interest was paid by the landlord.

Amendment of a freehold title plan

Our client landlord had purchased a property at auction on a sale and leaseback arrangement. Some years later, and after our client's vendor had gone into liquidation, it became apparent that the area covered by the leasehold title was larger than our client's freehold title.  Appropriate evidence was obtained to deal with the discrepancy and after correspondence with the Land Registry, the freehold title was amended to its correct size, thereby removing any difficulties for our client landlord in the future.