If you are considering transferring a lease in the current market, you will first need to check that the Lease contains provisions that will allow you to do this. If there is a provision, then you will need to obtain the Landlord’s consent to the transfer and the following steps should be considered:
- As soon as you have identified a prospective tenant, aim to obtain all the information needed for the grant of consent and provide it to the landlord before the formal application for consent is made.
- Clarify all the terms with the Landlord at the outset. Some negotiating will be necessary in order to reach terms that both sides are happy
- Check the conditions in the lease for providing any guarantee
- Difficulties with the Landlord
- If you are facing difficulties with the Landlord in obtaining consent to the transfer of lease, then you should consider the following:
- If you anticipate any difficulties arising, then consider contacting the landlord and engaging the feel of its reactions prior to starting any negotiation for a transfer.
- If negotiations break down, then consider holding a ‘without prejudice’ meeting attended by all parties.
- Court proceedings should only be brought once the negotiations have reached some form of conclusion.
- If formal dispute resolution or court proceedings have begun, then make sure that the prospective Tenant is also bound throughout the negotiations (and any subsequent proceedings). It would be pointless for you to go though the process of obtaining judgment against the Landlord for unreasonably withholding consent if the prospective Tenant withdraws from the transfer!
It is always advisable to seek expert advice when considering a commercial transaction.