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When can a Commercial Landlord evict a tenant?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the 1954 Act”)

Traditionally, the majority of commercial leases were protected by the 1954 Act. This protection provides the tenant with strict protections from eviction. Nowadays, the majority of landlords attempt to exclude the 1954 Act within the lease. The reason for this is due to the purpose and consequences of the 1954 Act, that being that it provides tenants with security of tenure. This effectively prevents landlords from evicting tenants except under very specific circumstances.

How do I know if the 1954 Act applies?

The 1954 Act applies to all leases unless the Act is specifically excluded within a clause of the lease. This must be done in writing and must be detailed in every lease signed. If a lease term expires and for whatever reason, a further lease has not yet been signed, landlords must be very careful to ensure the lease doesn’t become one protected by the 1954 Act by becoming what is effectively a periodic tenancy.

If the 1954 Act applies, how do I evict my tenant?

If the 1954 Act applies, a landlord must serve a notice under Section 25 of the 1954 Act. This notice but specify that the landlord opposes the grant of a new tenancy and it must provide one of the reasons in Section 30(1) of the 1954 Act in support of that. If it does not specify a reason, the notice will be invalid.

The types of reasons which can be used are those such as failure to pay rent, failure to comply with repair obligations, intention to demolish or reconstruct the property and any other substantial breach of the lease. This is not an exhaustive list. If one of these applies, you can serve a Section 25 Notice under the 1954 Act providing the tenant with not less than 6 months and not more than 12 months to vacate the property. If none of them apply, you cannot evict your tenant.

What can I do as a tenant if I receive a Section 25 Notice?

If you receive a Section 25 Notice this does not necessarily mean you have to vacate the property but you should take legal advice as soon as possible. If you receive the notice but do not accept that the reason or reasons referred to apply, then you are entitled to make an application to the Court under Section 29 for the grant of the new tenancy.

The Court would consider both parties evidence and if they agreed that the reasons provided in the Section 25 Notice, they would object to the grant of a new tenancy. If they did not, they would find in favour of the tenant and grant a new tenancy, usually under the same or similar terms to that of the old tenancy. This is a complex and usually expensive process and as such, negotiating with your landlord to attempt to reach an amicable settlement is recommended.

If you require any legal advice regarding a commercial tenancy, please contact our Litigation or Commercial Property Teams by contacting 0116 255 1811 or emailing


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Zoe Davis

Zoe Davis