What happens when a lease, without an option, ends?

Man reading a report in cafe

When your lease ends, the landlord is free to find a new tenant if your lease doesn’t have an option.

However, the landlord must give you written notice about whether they intend to offer you a new lease or they want you to move out at the end of the current lease. The landlord must notify you at least six months before the lease expiry date and not more than 12 months before expiry.

Make sure you know exactly when your lease ends – it’s a critical date. Talk to your landlord about their intentions as early as possible so that you have time to plan your exit.

It’s always important to know the options you have to move your shop or change your business model. Knowing your options gives you power in any future negotiation.

If you decide you want a new lease and your landlord agrees, be prepared to negotiate to get the best deal for yourself. Research current rents for similar shops to back up the new rent that you are prepared to pay.

If the landlord doesn’t give you the notice about their intentions, write to them before the lease ends to ask for the Section 44 notice. The lease can be extended by up to six months from the date they give you the notice.

If the landlord offers you a new lease and you don’t accept it within one month, they can withdraw the offer.

The landlord does not have to negotiate a new lease or an extension and they can stop negotiations at any time. They must tell you in writing that they have ended negotiations before they can advertise the shop for lease.

The landlord may allow you to stay in the shop after the lease ends. This is usually on a month-to-month basis, which either of you may end with one month’s notice.

If you want to hold over on a month-to-month basis, ask the landlord for their consent in writing before the lease ends.

Holding over gives you time to negotiate a new fixed-term lease for the shop or to find a new location for your business.