For landlord or tenant, Sinclair Jones can provide advice on the correct procedure for preparing and agreeing a lease, obligations of parties, rental values and negotiation of rent reviews or lease renewals. In the event that agreement cannot be reached, Sinclair Jones can help with arbitrations and submissions to experts and if necessary, provide submission as expert witness.
As rental patterns change, it is important to have a strategy in place for when the lease expires. Notice is required before the end of the lease is reached and, if the lease is to be renewed, the terms can be agreed by negotiation. Failing this, the renewal will be determined by the Court or by mutual agreement of landlord and tenant, by arbitration. There are limited grounds available to the landlord for refusing a new lease on expiry and compensation is usually payable in these circumstances.
Most business leases will have provision for the rent to be reviewed during the term of the lease; typically every 3 or 5 years. Despite the Code for Leasing Business Premises in England & Wales 2007, it is very rare that the rent can go down on review. The Lease will prescribe the requirements and assumptions to be made relating to a rent review, including provision for the matter to be settled independently, either by an expert or an arbitrator, in the event the review cannot be settled by negotiation.
Leasehold Reform legislation enables leaseholders to collectively purchase the freehold of their properties or individually extend their lease. Sinclair Jones will provide initial valuation advice to either landlord or leaseholder – whether it be cost of enfranchisement or premium for lease extension and undertake subsequent negotiations with view to reaching appropriate settlement. In some cases it may be necessary to prepare expert advice should matters be referred to First-Tier Tribunal.
Sinclair Jones is included in the list of surveyors prepared by the Leasehold Advisory Service.
Other Building Surveying Services
The Act permits building owners to carry out works to a party structure – includes floors and ceilings in flats – or in the vicinity of an adjoining owner’s building which could otherwise constitute a nuisance or trespass. It also safeguards the interests of the adjoining owner, by requiring notice of works to be given and the building owner to make good any damage.
Sinclair Jones can advise both building owner and adjoining owner on their respective rights and responsibilities to ensure that the proposed works are undertaken in a proper manner and so avoid risk of a dispute arising between neighbours.