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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7434
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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my 86 year old uncle has a 6 year lease on an office. it ends

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my 86 year old uncle has a 6 year lease on an office. it ends in 2013 but he is now ill and cannot work any more and needs the money he pays in rent for his long term care. what notice does he need to give his landlord? is he tied in to the lease until 2013?
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. Does the Lease contains provisions for him to sub-let or assign (ie. sell the remaining term to another tenant) the lease

Kind regards.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I cant readily see any reference for provision to sublet. However I had contacted the land loed about my uncles situation and they said they may have someone who may want to take the lewase over thats all I know

Thanks for your question.

If the lease is a standard commercial lease of office space then it will contain a clause regarding assignment (selling the lease to another tenant) or subletting – look for a clause headed either “dealing with the lease” or “Assignment, Subletting etc” or “Alienation”.

This clause will govern how your uncle is able to deal with the lease. I would expect it to allow him to formally assign the lease to another tenant subject to the new tenant having reference and to your uncle being up to date with the rent. If the landlord has found a new tenant then your uncle needs to formally assign the lease to him, this is effectively your uncle transferring his interest in the lease to the new tenant for the remainder of the term so that they new tenant pays the rent.

Usually he would also be required to sign an authorised guarantee agreement in which he covenants that he will remain liable under the lease if the new tenant defaults (ie. doesn’t pay the rent).

This assignment of the lease to a new tenant would have to be drawn up by a solicitor in order to protect your uncles adequately. It would cost around £750+vat for a solicitor to do this for him.

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I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

But what happens if it cannot be sublet

whast notice needs to be given or are we stuck in paying the rent until the lease finishes or my uncle dies?


If you cannot find another tenant to take over the property and there is no break clause in the lease which affords your uncle the right to terminate (usually these are at specific intervals of time during the lease, if they are there at all) then your uncle would remain liable to the rent payable under the lease until the end of the term.

I'm afraid that his illness does not mean that he can terminate the lease.

If it appears the lease cannot be re-let then he should ask the landlord if they would be willing to surrender the lease. This is where both parties agree that the lease is terminated so that the tenant ceases to have a right to occupy the property and the is released from paying the rent. Usually the landlord charges a fee for this, but you may wish to appeal to their sense of compassion in the circumstances.

If you uncles remains liable for the lease rents and does not pay them then the landlord will forfeit the lease by taking back the property and then sue your uncle for the remaining rent under the lease. They wold probably get judgement on the rent which could have been earned up to the point at which the court decides the landlord could have mitigated their loss by re-letting as well as the landlord's legal fees.

Trust this clarifies, if so please click accept.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

One more thing!

I have found the assignment clause

it states to assign as a part ()as distinct as a whole) of the premises Not assign as a whole of the premises without the prior written consent of the ladlord (which will not be unreasonabley with held or delayed)

Then it goes on to say limiting the genarality of clauses it will be reasonable for the land lord to refuse consent to an assignment if ; and it then goes on


I am confused as it seems to me that assignment isnt part of the lease but then could be




That clauses permits your uncle to transfer the lease to a new tenant subject to the landlord's consent. He cannot unreasonably withold his consent to such a transfer but your uncle is not permitted to transfer part of the property he rents; he must transfer all of it or nothing at all.

Please click accept.

Kind regards,

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