Where a client wants a commercial lease to come to an end, it is essential that the solicitor serves a valid break notice. Failure to do so can result in the client being locked into the lease for longer than they had intended. This can lead to very expensive Master Policy claims.
In these cases, sometimes even a minor error in the drafting or in the service of the break notice will render it invalid and lead to claims.
Last year, we published a Notice to Quit Calculator, a development of the winning entry of the 2019 Innovation Cup Competition. This tool helps solicitors calculate the relevant notice period and highlight the last possible date on which the notice to quit should be issued.
However, there have also been occasions where a different type of “failure” in serving the break notice, such as failure to serve the notice on the correct landlord, leads to issues.
Therefore, in association with Brodies LLP, we have devised this Commercial Lease Notice to Quit Checklist to help solicitors avoid some of the common pitfalls when serving a break notice for leased premises. This checklist should be used alongside the Notice to Quit Calculator.
It is not an exhaustive list of potential issues and it is not intended to document every single step in the process. However, it is designed to highlight the areas which, in our experience, can lead to issues with clients or Master Policy claims.