Security of Tenure for Commercial Occupiers

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is a UK law that provides certain rights to tenants, including the right to security of tenure. Security of tenure refers to the right of a tenant to remain in a commercial property after their lease has expired, and to renew their lease on reasonable terms.

The 1954 Act applies to most commercial tenancies, including those for shops, offices, and factories. There are certain exceptions, such as tenancies of less than six months and tenancies of agricultural land.

Under the 1954 Act, a tenant has the right to request a new lease when their current lease expires. This is known as a “section 26 request”. The landlord can only refuse this request in certain limited circumstances, including if they plan to redevelop the property or if the tenant has breached the terms of their lease.

If the landlord does not agree to a new lease, the tenant can apply to the court for a new lease. This is known as a “section 24 application”. The court will consider various factors, such as the value of the property and the terms of the existing lease, when deciding whether to grant a new lease.

The 1954 Act also provides for the payment of compensation to a tenant if the landlord opposes a section 26 request and the tenant is forced to vacate the property. This compensation is known as “compensation for loss of tenancy”.

The security of tenure provided by the 1954 Act can be beneficial for both tenants and landlords. Tenants can be assured of their right to remain in a property, which can provide stability for their business. Landlords, on the other hand, can be assured of a reliable income stream from long-term tenants.

However, it is important for both tenants and landlords to understand their rights and obligations under the 1954 Act. Landlords should be aware of the limited circumstances in which they can refuse a section 26 request, and tenants should be aware of the process for making a section 26 request and a section 24 application.

In conclusion, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 provides important rights to tenants in the UK, including the right to security of tenure. This can be beneficial for both tenants and landlords, but it is important for both parties to understand their rights and obligations under the Act.

So in summary.  If you occupier premises for the purposes of undertaking your business, have been in occupation for over 6 months, paying rent and have exclusive possession (no other business occupies the property), then you may have what is known as a Periodic Tenancy.  It is a very complex area of Commercial Property Law, but essentially if the above apply you may have a right to compensation should your Landlord attempt to evict you/end your tenancy.  If such rights are confirmed, the Landlord may only be able to evict you following the service of a S25 Notice stating grounds for your eviction and this cannot be served less than 6 months or more than 12 months before the date specified in the notice.  As such, even if compensation isn’t payable, you may be able to remain in the property for at least 12 months (possibly londer if the Courts are busy).

The tactics and strategy around service of notices, along with how the process is managed, can be as important as the accuracy of the notices themselves.  This is a very complicated area and a simple error could affect your rights.  You should always ensure therefore that you obtain sufficient advice from a suitably qualified Chartered Surveyor.  Our Surveyor, Wayne Norcliffe, is Fellow of the RICS and an expert in Commercial Property matters and we’d be pleased to discuss your situation and provide our initial thoughts on a without prejudice basis.  Simply get in touch to find out more.

Castle Surveyors Limited are experts in commercial property and have been involved in high value transactions for clients across the UK.  For an INFORMAL CHAT simply call 0800 246 1002 or email us at

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