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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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hi there, I signed a lease for a shop back in 2008 which

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hi there,

I signed a lease for a shop back in 2008 which i didnt take up due to recession. The landlord was fine about it back then and soon got new tenants in the shop.. However, i have heard the new tenants are leaving and he is now chasing me for £9000. Is there anything i can do?
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. You and the landlord both signed and executed the lease, correct
2. How did the new tenants come to occupy the property – did you assign the lease to them (sign/execute a deed of assignment/land registry transfer form
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi there,

The lease wasnt executed, and we didnt assign the lease to them. However, this is three years down the line and he is demanding the money.

Kind regards


Sorry, I'm a touch confused. You say that you signed the lease; What happened to the hard copy lease after that? did the landlord/their solicitor also sign/date the lease?

Did a solicitor act for you in agreeing the terms of the lease?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi there,

It was all signed legally at the beginning back in 2008 through a solicitor and the landlord signed it... unfortunately the recession hit and i couldnt afford to take it on.. The landlord at the time was fine, and soon rented the shop out again to someone else, therefore he has had income from the shop for the past three years. However, i have now heard the shop is becoming empty again and he has now contacted me for money £9000.00. I would also point out that i am under a debt management company anyway now.

Kind regards


Thanks for your reply.

I assume from your reply that the lease you signed was executed/completed and legally binding and you simply did not take occupation of the shop. This was not advisable I’m afraid.

If the lease was in force and you did not wish to occupy the property you should either have arranged an assignment of the Lease to new tenants OR have arranged a formal surrender with the landlord in which you both state that the lease is no longer legally binding, usually the landlords charge money to surrender.

This means that you are probably technically still bound by the Lease and therefore bound to pay the rent under the lease, so unless there are some further facts you have not told me then the landlord has a cause of action against you and is entitled to pursue you for the money.

However, if he has let the property to other tenants then this may be useful to you because it is also a breach by the Landlord because he has let a property in which you had a legal interest. It may be useful in that it either will reduce the amount of damages he can claim for OR there is an outside chance that it may mean he is estopped (ie. prevented) from making a claim against you (although I have to say this is fairly unlikely).

You need to find out for what period this £9000.00 relates to (ie. which period of rent) and also whether he forfeited your lease (ie. because you didn’t pay rent) before letting the property to the new tenants. If he did forfeit your lease then he will still be able to sue you but would probably only get judgement on the rent you should have paid until the time at which he let it to new tenants and his costs.

You’re going to have to find out what the £9000 relates to, when the property was re-let, whether the landlord forfeited your lease and then speak to the solicitor who acted on your behalf at the start of this.

If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.

I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Thomas and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you very much for your reply it has been very useful.
You're welcome.

You should also make him aware that you are on a debt management plan and do not have any assets against which he could enforce any judgement he would obtain.

It's not worth suing someone if you're not going to get anything out of it after all.

Thanks for your accept.

Good luck.

Kind regards,