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Terminating a commercial oral tenancy

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Posted by Mary Rouse on 14 August 2012

Mary Rouse Partner

A number of difficulties can arise where the tenancy of commercial premises has not been recorded properly in writing.

Usually these types of tenancies will form into periodic period tenancies and the length of the period will be determined by the frequency of the rent payments. If the agreement is for rent of ‘X’ amount a year payable monthly then a yearly periodic tenancy would have been created. However, if the rent is agreed at ‘X’ amount per month then a monthly periodic tenancy will have been created.

In order to give notice on a yearly periodic tenancy, six months’ notice must be given terminating on the last day of the period. The beginning and end of the period will depend on the date on which the tenant went into occupation and the date of the rent payments.

In monthly periodic tenancies the length notice will correspond to the period of the tenancy and must expire on the last day of that period. Therefore, if rent is paid on the first day of each month then at least one months’ notice must be given expiring on the last day of the month.

There is no prescribed form of notice to quit. However, it is important that the notice be unambiguous and be served correctly on the landlord. It is also vital that you factor enough time into your plans to allow effective notice to be given.

It is worth noting that an oral periodic tenancy can also attract protection under the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Whether or not the tenancy has protection depends upon the length of time of occupation of the tenancy. You should seek expert advice on this point before serving notice because if the tenancy has attracted protection under the Act then it will be necessary to follow the statutory procedure set out within the Act in order to bring the tenancy to an end. A notice to simply end the periodic tenancy may not be sufficient.

About the author

Mary Rouse


Mary is an experienced property litigation lawyer.

Mary Rouse

Mary is an experienced property litigation lawyer.

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