Expert warns over lease surrender spike

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lease, Leasehold estate

Morgan: seek advice before handing keys back
Morgan: seek advice before handing keys back
A chartered surveyor has urged tenants thinking of surrendering their lease not to make a snap decision and hand the keys back.

A chartered surveyor has urged tenants thinking of surrendering their lease not to make a snap decision and throw the keys back.

David Morgan of Cookseys DMP said he had received an "unprecedented" spike in the number of enquiries asking for advice on surrendering a lease. He received 19 calls on the issue in the first week of February.

There has been no regional pattern with callers from affluent Surrey to Birmingham, North London and rural Yorkshire. "The main problem is that there is no established set of rules as to how to apply for surrender if your pub holds no future for you," said Morgan.

"The first principle is always to discuss your intentions as early as possible with either the pubco or brewer. It might make the process much less financially painful.

"The last thing the lessee should do is make a snap decision and throw the keys back. The inventory value, dilapidations issues and the flexible 'fines' are all on the table to be negotiated, certainly with professional help."

He added: "One of the major areas of concern is dilapidations as the lessee should always be given the chance to undertake the dilapidations work themselves prior to departure."

Industry consultant Phil Dixon also said the BII helpline had received an uplift in calls on the issue of lease surrender. "Unfortunately it is that time of year when licensees may realise they haven't got enough money to pay the tax bill," he said.

Related topics: Property law, Legislation

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