Pub tenant’s repairing obligations significantly mitigated.

This energetic, prudent and successful Publican Client sought advices on taking a new lease of Public House premises from Punch Taverns.

The Client was an existing occupier of The Black Lake Inn under a brewery management contract, but had established a good clientele, reputation and business, so required the greater security of tenure from a formal lease. The intention was to take a long term lease to allow for additional investment in the premises to carry out planned alterations and extensions to improve public areas, increase seating capacity and upgrade the kitchen, preparation and welfare facilities.

The Landlords were insisting that the Client accept a Tenant’s full repairing lease. However upon Robertson’s inspection and survey, it was found that the property had not been properly maintained by the Landlords during their ownership and was in poor condition. There was structural movement and defects to the roof and upper floors, ingress of rainwater and rising dampness causing rot to timbers and deterioration of plasterwork. Flat felt roofs were leaking, windows and doors were rotten and services required overhaul.

Robertsons prepared a schedule of condition which was submitted to the Landlord. Initially Punch Taverns refused to agree to any form of lease other than a full repairing lease, despite the considerable wants of repair. However subsequent to Robertson’s representations at a number of meetings, they were persuaded to agree to carry out a schedule of works which addressed the principle wants of repair, in the course of a comprehensive programme of refurbishment, alterations and extension of the buildings.

Upon completion, the premises were reinspected to address snagging of outstanding works, then the schedule of condition was revised to acknowledge the satisfactory completion of Landlord’s works. It was then agreed that the revised schedule of condition be attached to the new lease to further limit the tenant’s repairing obligations throughout the lease term. On this basis the Client was able to complete a lease with acceptable terms.