PROPERTY LAW

COMMERCIAL LEASES

There are substantial differences between a lease of commercial property for a 5 year period from that of a lease for a period of 20 years or more. Leases of more than 5 years are usually referred to as “full, repairing and insuring” (FRI) leases.

The tenant has far great responsibilities under a FRI lease.It is important that both the landlord and tenant receive legal advice. Commonly, a variation of a single word in a lease can signifigantly alter the obligations of either party. The terms of the lease require negotiation in order that the lease adequately reflects the intentions of the parties.

A well drafted lease inures for the benefit of all parties and is less likely to cause difficulties as time progresses. A lease should be drafted in plain English as much as possible. The terms of the agreement should allow flexibility for the

RESIDENTIAL CONVEYANCING

We have extensive experience in the area of residential and commercial conveyancing.Whether you wish to buy, sell or re-mortgage your property we will work diligently on your behalf to provide a reliable and cost-efficient service for you. Each matter is different and timeframes will vary to complete transactions but we will keep you informed at all stages. We can advise you from the outset to completion on all aspects of the transaction including mortgages, insurance, planning permission and stamp duty.

Landlord and Tenant

The Landlord and Tenant Bill which is expected to become law in 2010 will reform and consolidate the existing landlord and tenant legislation relating to business tenancies. Certain provisions will in effect, be similar to the provisions of the UK Landlord and Tenant Act 1988. Previously, delays by landlords in consenting to an assignement of a lease have caused major difficulties. One of the bill’s  proposals is that damages as a remedy will be available to a tenant if the landlord unduly delays in giving consent. A landlord will have a period of 21 days to consent or refuse to consent (such consent not to be unreasonably witheld). The period can be extended and the foregoing assumes that the tenant supplies the landlord with the necessary documentation. To read the full text see LRC CP21-2003 and LRC CP28-2003). The Landlord and Tenant Bill will for the most part not apply to residential tenancies, agricultural tenancies and ground rents.

Most residential tenancies are governed by the ResidentialTenancies Act 2004. The Act provides that subject to certain conditions being met, the landlord is obliged to (a) permit the  tenant to have peaceful and quiet possession of the property  (b) carry out all repairs to the structure as are necessary to comply with any standards for houses that have been prescribed from time to time under Section 18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 and (c)to maintain the interior and replace such fittings in order to maintain the property in the condition it was in at the time of the lease and (d) comply with any standards that are prescribed from time to time. However, the tenant is liable for any damage that goes beyond normal wear and tear. Rent must not be greater than the open market rent and may be reviewed upwards or downwards. Landlords must return deposits promptly unless rent is due or there is damage beyond normal wear and tear. Where the tenant has carried out repairs which were the responsibility of the landlord, then the tenant must be reimbursed for the cost of same. It is incumbent upon the landlord to register with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). A new Bill proposes that where a landlord is not registered with the PRTB, rent allowance payments from the health boards will not be paid to that landlord. In addition, the 2004 Act specifies the rights of each party regarding new tenancies, dispute resolution and penalties for non-compliance.