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Landlord and tenant – commercial

Electronic Communications Code – upgrading and sharing

The new Electronic Communications Code was introduced (surprisingly) on 28 December 2017. One of the important changes is to increase the ability for operators to upgrade and share telecoms kit. Note that this is an automatic right granted to operators – it does not need to be included in the relevant agreement, or conferred by the court.

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Lease terms – anti-bribery?

A traditional, institutional, full repairing and insuring lease (FRI) is in relatively standard terms. The whole idea is that if the terms are relatively standardised then L’s reversion is an investment asset that can be bought and sold straightforwardly. Accordingly, deviations from those standard terms are frowned upon.

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Lease renewals – PACT

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Law Society – model office leases

The Law Society has published two short-form model office leases (one for the whole of a building, and the other for part). The leases are intended to be suitable for lettings of up to ten years, and include one rent review.

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Break notice – don’t withdraw!

Suppose T serves a break notice on L, but subsequently changes their mind, and wants to stay in the property. What should you do?

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Renewal leases – shorter?

Traditionally, it has been assumed that T wants a longer lease than L wants to grant. The courts then seek a fair and reasonable solution between L and T by balancing two rival considerations: firstly, giving security of tenure to Ts, and secondly, the security of tenure should not stifle redevelopment by property owners.

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Companies – beware ‘BR’

Suppose you are acting for an L who is planning to grant a lease to a company. As part of your diligence you do a Companies House search to check that the company is properly registered, and the company comes back with a registration number preceded by the letters ‘BR’. Is that a problem?

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Adverts – leases

When granting a commercial lease, L should ensure that T is required to comply with the advertising controls in the Town & Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regs 2007. This is because the display of ads is subject to a consent process (outside the planning regime) which is assessed by reference to their effect on amenity and public safety.  

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Electronic communications – new code

The new Electronic Communications Code is not yet in force but landowners who want vacant possession should act before it does come into force. Under the new code, there will be lengthy termination procedures. 

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Holding over – tenancy at will

If L and T have been negotiating the terms of a new tenancy before the expiry of the fixed term, then there is a presumption that a tenancy at will arises at the end of the fixed-term tenancy. Thus, T will remain in occupation under a tenancy at will (unless the facts indicate some other arrangements).

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