We are pleased to launch the Notice to Quit Calculator, a downloadable tool which can be used by law firms to help reduce errors of timing when serving notice for commercial leases.

This is a development of the winning entry of the 2019 Innovation Cup.

RSA, the lead insurer on the Master Policy report that they see a number of claims which originate from the serving of “notices to quit” for commercial leases. This is not surprising, as it is a complex area of the law with little room for manoeuvre or judgement. Failure to serve these notices timeously, can leave the solicitor open to a claim for professional negligence, particularly where the error leads to tenants or landlords being 'caught out' by the operation of tacit relocation.

This tool is designed to help you get it right more often. It allows for the solicitor to input all relevant details for the lease, including whether or not the firm is acting on behalf of the landlord or the tenant, the start and expiry dates. The tool will then calculate the relevant notice period and highlight the last possible date on which the notice to quit should be issued.

Of course, it is still absolutely essential that lease documents are thoroughly reviewed and understood and it is then and only then that this tool should become part of the process.

The tool can be downloaded for use in your office and is capable of dealing with leases with start and end dates between 1st January 1990 and 31st December 2030.

The calculator takes account of the legal position as it stands at the time of publication which is laid out in the 'Legal Basis' tab.

Background – The Innovation Cup

In April 2018, the Innovation Cup was launched to seek new risk management solutions for law firms and the legal profession. The winner of the 2019 competition was Steven Thomson, a senior associate at Morton Fraser who specialises in commercial real estate and also heads up their firm-wide innovation team.

Steven Thomson said: “I am delighted to have won the Innovation Cup. Having worked in commercial real estate for 12 years, I have seen at first hand the pitfalls that can be so easily fallen into and I truly believe this tool will be of great benefit to the profession and help to minimise any potential professional negligence claims.