The Business Tenancies (NI) Order 1996 provides for the automatic continuation beyond the end of the contractual term of most tenancies of premises occupied for business purposes.
If a tenancy is continued under the Order a tenant must subsequently give at least three months’ notice to his landlord if he intends to leave. This at least in theory gives the landlord time to begin remarketing in the hope of securing a new tenant.
If however the tenant vacates the premises before the last day of the contractual term then the 1996 Order does not apply; the lease ends; and the landlord will find himself left with vacant premises to re-let, without any prior notice.
In the current economic climate it is essential that landlord’s take steps to guard against this scenario by including the appropriate protections when first granting leases of business premises.
For more information regarding this issue, contact our commercial property team for advice.
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