Trapped in your Commercial Lease?
Our commercial property solicitors can help.
When the UK voted to leave the EU, the European Medicines Agency decided to move from their Canary Wharf premises to new headquarters in Amsterdam. In an attempt to withdraw from their 25-year Lease, the EMA tried to argue that Brexit had rendered their lease impossible to fulfil.
Upon reviewing the lease, a High Court Judge said that “the EMA chose to enter into a long-term relationship, with long-term obligations…it could have opted for different premises, with a shorter lease”. Ultimately, the Judgement sided with the EMA’s Landlord, who contended that the EMA could simply assign or sublet the lease.
With the landlord’s permission, a lease can be transferred over to a new tenant. There are many reasons why commercial tenants want to exit their lease. You might feel unhappy with the current premises, your business may not be doing as well as you’d hoped, or you could be retiring, to name just a few. It can be very stressful to feel trapped in a contract with your landlord.
Assignment of Lease
Our property team is here to help. If the lease allows, and unless your landlord has good reason not to give permission, assigning the lease to a new tenant is often the easiest way of getting out of a commercial lease.
First, we can check your lease to see what is needed in order to assign your lease, and whether there are any prohibitions or special terms. Then, if someone is willing to take over as tenant of the property, we can apply to your landlord for an assignment of lease.
If your landlord consents, the lease can be handed over to the new tenant, freeing you from many of your obligations. There are cases where landlords refuse to give permission, such as when the new tenant has poor references, or the new tenant wants to use the premises for a completely different use than set out in the original lease. If you are unsure, talk to one of our experienced solicitors who will be able to tell you what needs to be done.
Your Lease Assignment Consultation
With over 125 years’ experience, we deal with all aspects of Commercial Property, including granting, assigning, and terminating leases and advising on lease renewals. Our clients range from landlords of large multi-let sites to tenants of retail premises, offices, and warehousing.