Is the lease a ‘protected’ business lease? The law protects business leases on expiry of their term, unless the provisions are excluded in the lease. This is known as Security of Tenure.

If the answer is yes, the following protective provisions apply:
1. You will have the right to stay in the business premises when the lease ends;
2. On expiry of the lease, the tenancy will continue on the same terms, it is not necessary to request a renewal;
3. The lease can be terminated only in certain circumstances and notice of termination must be served in a prescribed form;
4. Where the landlord serves a notice to terminate the lease, you have the right to apply to court for a new lease and the landlord can only oppose on certain limited grounds;
5. The landlord may serve notice to terminate the current lease so that a new lease can be granted on different grounds. The new terms can then be negotiated and agreed between you. Notice of termination does not necessarily mean that you must leave the premises;
6. On expiry of your lease, you can request a new lease and put forward proposed new terms;
7. You must agree terms before certain time limits expire or you may lose out on the ability to apply to court;
8. You may be entitled to compensation if you are not granted a new lease.

If the answer is no, protective provisions are excluded from the lease, and:
1. You will not have the right to remain in the premises when the lease ends and the landlord can change the locks;  
2. Unless the landlord offers you another lease, you will have to find alternative premises;
3. You will be unable to claim compensation for the loss of your business premises.

When your lease approaches expiry it is always sensible to consider whether your current lease is the most suitable for your business in terms of location, rent and other lease terms.
– Courtesy of Rickerbys Solictors, which has teamed up with the NAMB to offer a new service for members. Details will be sent to members directly.