Rent Reviews and Lease Renewals

Northam Clover have extensive experience of dealing with rent reviews and lease renewals throughout central London.

Historically most commercial leases provided for the rent to be reviewed every five years. These rent reviews are frequently referred to as "upwards only" however this means that in most cases the rent cannot go down. It does not mean that an increase is inevitable.

The rent will normally be described as the market rent at the date of review subject to a series of assumptions contained within the lease. Provision will be made for the rent to be determined by an Independent Expert or Arbitrator if the Landlord and Tenant cannot agree.

Often the assumptions contained in the lease differ from prevailing market conditions thus the rent on review may be higher or lower than open market levels. The need to sometimes value unusual lease provisions means that rent reviews can become quasi-legal negotiations therefore it is essential for rent review surveyors to be familiar with current case law.

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, Tenants of commercial property have a statutory right to a new lease at the end of the original term. As with rent reviews, there is a mechanism to have the lease terms determined by a third party if the Landlord and Tenant cannot agree revised terms. This is a complex process involving the serving of legal notices with exact timings and the Tenant making an application to the Court for the grant of a new lease for both Landlords and Tenants.

As well as advising clients on rent reviews and lease renewals, Peter Northam is on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors panel of Arbitrators and Independent Experts and therefore is appointed to resolve disputes where the parties cannot agree the revised rent.