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Security of Tenure

QUESTION: “I am granting a commercial lease and do not want to give security of tenure to my prospective tenant. What type of declaration do I need before completing the lease?”

The procedure for contracting out of the security of tenure rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 requires the landlord serves notice on the prospective tenant that the proposed lease will not be protected by the act.

The prospective tenant must then make a declaration in response, confirming that it has received the notice and accepts its consequences. This procedure must be completed before the tenant becomes contractually bound, which will be on completion of the lease or an earlier agreement for the lease. There are two types of declaration that can be made:

? A simple declaration: This is given when the parties will commit to the lease at least 14 days after the landlord’s notice has been served.

? A statutory declaration: This is given when the parties will commit to the lease within a shorter time frame. It must be made before a solicitor or commissioner for oaths.

In the recent case of Patel v Chiltern Railway Company, the court decided that a statutory declaration can be used in place of a simple declaration. This is because a statutory declaration, although more stringent, incorporates all of the elements of a simple declaration. However, a simple declaration can never be used in circumstances where a statutory declaration is required. If in doubt, always use a statutory declaration.

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