Business leases: renewing and ending

Tenant's right to renew a business lease

Business tenants normally have the right to remain in their premises and renew their leases when the tenancy ends. Examples of premises where these rights may apply include:

  • shops, warehouses and factories
  • offices containing businesses, professional people and volunteer societies
  • doctors' and dentists' surgeries
  • premises for clubs, trade unions, institutions and other bodies
  • premises used partly for business, but where the tenant lives in the remaining areas

Who doesn't have the right to renew a lease?

However, some types of business occupiers do not have the right to renew including:

  • farm business tenants
  • mining tenants
  • 'service tenants' employed by the landlord

Also, renewal rights do not generally apply in the following cases:

  • fixed-term tenancies of six months or less
  • tenants who waive their right to renew at the start of their lease
  • tenants using the premises for business without the landlord's agreement
  • where there is a licence rather than a lease
  • where tenants have already extended long leases and, in certain cases, their sub-tenants
  • tenants who have sub-let the premises and who are not occupying them personally

The landlord may also oppose renewal in certain defined cases – see the landlord's right to refuse a new tenancy.

You may want to consult a legal professional on the issue of business leases. Choose and work with a solicitor.