Jeremy Palmer

Giggling squid open their 42nd restaurant

Partner Stephanie Kierans helped Giggling Squid open their 42nd restaurant, situated right in the centre of Welwyn Garden City.  

Giggling Squid is thai food with personality and a firm favourite for Team Sherrards.

Founded by husband and wife Pranee and Andrew Laurillard, Giggling Squid opened its first restaurant in 2002 in Brighton, but despite the recent difficult period for all in the hospitality industry, the restaurant chain continues to push ahead with their expansion plans opening beautiful restaurants all over the UK.

Click here to head to Giggling Squid’s website and book your table.

Shane Knight

Shane’s client base includes small property developers, offshore commercial interests with property investment portfolios and pension funds as well as a number of clients from the charity sector.

These include two Roman Catholic Archbishoprics, a number of Roman Catholic diocesan trusts and a Hindu educational charity. 

Some of his recent transactions included acting for a pension fund in the purchase of a property portfolio from another pension fund and the purchase by a charity of a former hotel as a conference centre.   

Shane is also a member of the Charity Law Association and a member of the Law Society of Ireland.

Clients say “Shane is commercial, pragmatic and focused.”    

“He is always happy to take a call and run through matters with you.  He is accessible and available to discuss matters.”  

That’s Shane for you.

Seven Dials welcomes WatchHouse Coffee

Charles Hodder, partner in the Commercial property team worked alongside the London Corporate and Commercial team to assist WatchHouse with the opening their ninth specialist coffee shop which boasts state of the art coffee technology including a Slayer Steam LPx and full brunch service seven days a week.

Sherrards are delighted to continue to support Watchhouse as their vision continues to grow.

You can read more about WatchHouse by clicking here. 

 

 

Sherrards Corporate teams help with the sale of The Plough

The Sherrards Corporate & Commercial team and Commercial property team worked together to support with the sale of The Plough in Sleepshyde to Gorgeous Pubs (an independent pub company). 

This company are the owners of The Bull in Highgate and a local microbrewery. They reopened The Plough in October 2021 with great success.

Sherrards’ property and corporate teams worked together to complete the transfer of each constituent part of the business to the new buyer. 

Sherrards retail team work with client Evapo expand and explore new business ventures

During the course of the last calendar year Stephanie and the team have advised Evapo on the renewal of three leases; the strategic re-gearing of two further leases and the acquisition of three new units.  This is typical of the type of work the commercial property team carry out for a number or retail clients.

The team are also now working with the owners of the company in connection with a new business venture and we have concluded the first, of what we hope will be many, acquisitions of premises for the new concept. 

Sherrards advised client Powerday on the acquisition of IOD Skip Hire Limited

This acquisition was led by Charles Hodder but also involved our corporate & commercial, employment and dispute resolution teams. The IOD Skip Hire site became Powerday’s sixth facility in London and means they will inherit the affiliated businesses of IOD.

The transaction was complicated, but we successfully completed the deal due to the team’s experience in the market and ability to work brilliantly across departments, bringing together specific expertise to ensuring seamless transaction.

Jamaica Blue opens new coffee shop and café at Kings Walk Gloucester

Jamaica Blue offers coffee made with beans from the Jamaican Blue Mountains along with a contemporary menu featuring classic dishes with a twist using the fresh locally sourced ingredients as well as a range of vegan and vegetarian options, and not forgetting the café’s famous big brekkie!

The store opening came just in time for the festive period for shoppers to enjoy.

Licences for occupation – is your short term licence agreement actually a formal tenancy?

A recent ruling is likely to have significant consequences for guardian property companies (and other landlords) who use licence agreements to place occupiers into properties to protect against squatters and vandalism.  The case of Camelot Property Management Limited and Camelot Guardian Management Limited v Roynon [2017] highlights the importance of carrying through in practice what a document/ licence has set out to achieve.

The matter of whether a licence is really a licence or indeed a lease has long been debated and for some time now it has been widely accepted (following the decision in Street v Mountford [1985]) that the principles of exclusive possession, rent and length of term govern how a ‘licence’ will be regarded by the courts.

The recent Camelot case did not set to change these principles but has offered valuable insight as to what is required in order to prevent ‘exclusive possession’ from arising and turning a ‘licence’ into a lease or formal tenancy.

The ‘licence’ agreement with Mr Roynon for the occupation of two rooms in a former old people’s care home contained the following restrictions:

  • No overnight guests
  • No unsupervised guests
  • No more than 2 guests at a time
  • All guests to be escorted from the property at the end of each visit

The court held that the provisions of the agreement did not accurately reflect what happened in reality. Whilst the licence stated that no exclusive possession would be given, Mr Roynon had in fact been given keys to two rooms to which no other guardians had access and which no one entered without his permission.

Regular inspections of the rooms by Camelot were not held to be sufficient to counter his exclusive possession and Mr Roynon had therefore acquired an assured shorthold tenancy rather than a ‘licence to occupy’.

The case highlights the need to put into practice what a document/ licence has set out to achieve and where no exclusive possession is intended, landlord’s must make sure that the living arrangements are not contrary to the formal agreements put in place.

Anyone using guardians or short term occupiers to prevent buildings remaining empty should carefully balance the risks of allowing people into occupation with the rise of professional squatters and other unwanted occupiers who could look to take advantage of such situations. Contact Caroline for more information.

Make the right commercial decision when it comes to signing or granting a lease with security of tenure protection

Whether you are the landlord or the tenant, you need to think carefully at the time of signing a new lease about what happens when the lease comes to an end.  A manufacturing company, for example, who has invested in the installation of specialist plant and machinery at a property, will want that lease to continue, to provide it with the comfort it needs to carry on operating its business without fear of having to relocate at the end of its term. Another tenant, providing business services and taking the lease of an office, for example, may not have the same concerns. They may not see the property as critical to their business in the same way as the manufacturing company does.  The landlord on the other hand needs to think about its long-term plans for its property and be aware that unless it opts out of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the Act), security of tenure is automatically given to the tenants of most new commercial leases.

It can be crucial, therefore, for landlords to consider whether its tenants should have protection under the Act, especially when they might want to take possession of the property at the end of the lease. The tenancy becomes protected unless the parties contract out of the Act.

The protection given to tenants is twofold: First, the tenancy does not come to an end on the term end date of the lease and continues until it is terminated according to the procedures set out in the Act. Second, tenants are given the right to apply to court for a new lease once the fixed term of their current lease has expired. A landlord may only oppose an application on certain statutory grounds.

Security of tenure does not apply across the board to all tenancies however and there are certain tenancies that are excluded from the protection of the Act. Nevertheless, security of tenure applies to most commercial leases with a term over six months unless contracted out.

For a landlord to regain possession of the property at the end of a term, it must serve a statutory notice to terminate the tenancy. Such a notice must be served not less than six months, nor more than twelve months, before the date of termination specified in the notice itself. The date of termination cannot be before the term end date in the lease. The landlord must be able to demonstrate one or more of the following statutory grounds:

  • The tenant has failed to comply with its repair and maintenance obligations
  • The tenant is persistently late with rent
  • The tenant is in substantial breach of their obligations
  • The landlord has offered and is willing to provide or secure the provision of suitable alternative accommodation for the tenant’s requirements
  • The tenant is a sub tenant of part of the landlord’s building and the landlord could get more rent by leasing the whole of the building rather than part
  • The landlord intends to demolish or reconstruct the whole or any part and could not reasonably do so without obtaining possession of the property and/or
  • The landlord intends to occupy the property.

If a landlord envisages that it will want possession of its property at the end of a lease term, then contracting out of the Act is crucial. In practice, the landlord will serve a warning notice before the lease or agreement for lease is completed and the tenant will reply with a statutory declaration. The warning notice must be in a prescribed form and the lease must contain reference to the exclusion agreement, the notice and the declaration.

The Act is highly technical and legal advice should always be sought in relation to any specific matter. The Sherrards property team are able to advise landlords (as well as tenants) on key considerations in relation to security of tenure.