If you are a tenant of dental practice and your lease is nearing the end of its contractual term, or you are considering serving a notice to quit, or exercising a break option, there are a number of very important issues to carefully consider and planning ahead is crucial:
- If your dental tenancy is contracted out of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 but you want to remain at the property, this will be at your landlord’s discretion. Start negotiations for the grant of a new lease early so that you can still relocate if necessary.
- If your dental lease is protected under the 1954 Act, you can vacate at the end of the tenancy, or serve notice to request a new tenancy. Your landlord may offer a new tenancy but could oppose this and seek to terminate the tenancy on certain limited grounds. There are strict time limits on this process.
- If you are going to serve a notice to quit and leave the property, give yourself adequate time to do so, to avoid disruption to your business.
- If you want to exercise a break option in your dental lease, check the terms of the agreement carefully. Make sure you give notice in the correct manner, at the correct time, to the correct person and that you comply strictly with any conditions in the lease.
Issues may vary given the particular circumstances of each case, but advance planning and preparation can minimise potential problems. Getting it wrong can have a very serious adverse impact upon a dental practice.
This article was originally published in the British Dental Journal, December 2015.