In the light of several recent cases of airsoft sites being put out of business by commercial landlords, we’ve consulted with a few legal advisers on the matter of commercial tenancies. Read on to find out how to better protect your airsoft business.
In the UK there are two main types of tenancies: residential and commercial. Airsoft organisers rent their sites as a businesses, and so they use commercial type of contracts. There are several ways to protect yourself from being taken advantage of when signing a business lease for an airsoft site:
In addition, when reviewing your rental contract, there are certain provisions that a landlord cannot demand in the UK:
It is important to carefully review the terms of the tenancy agreement before signing it to ensure that it is fair and reasonable. If you have any concerns about the terms of the tenancy agreement, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor.
In general, a commercial landlord does have the right to end a tenancy before the end of the contract only in specific circumstances. This is usually outlined in the terms of the tenancy agreement.
For example, a commercial tenancy agreement may include a clause that allows the landlord to terminate the tenancy early if the tenant breaches the terms of the agreement, such as by failing to pay rent or by using the property for an unlawful purpose.
A commercial tenancy agreement may also include a break clause, which allows either the landlord or the tenant to terminate the tenancy early by giving notice. The terms of the break clause, including the notice period and any conditions that must be met, will be set out in the tenancy agreement.
According to the gov.uk article on commercial tenancies:
After a fixed-term tenancy has ended, the tenant must usually give 3 months notice if they want to end the lease. The landlord must usually give 6 months notice.
The lease will state the amount of notice each party must give.
The above article on gov.uk is extremely well written and should give you plenty of guidance on do’s and don’ts of commercial tenancies. In addition, there’s a separate article on Renewing your commercial property lease, which we recommend as well.
Due to the nature of running an airsoft business, the best way to ensure its stability is to negotiate longer conditions of break/termination, giving you a more reasonable time to seek alternative arrangements and vacate the premisses. While 30 days may sound like plenty of time to a residential tenant, for average airsoft site it’s not enough to even issue a formal challenge if a dispute arises.
Remember, that as a commercial tenant you have the right to issue a formal complaint in cases, such as unauthorised changes to the property, interference with your business, unfair rent increases, etc.
It really breaks our heart whenever we hear that a given airsoft site has been closed or is due to close. PlayAirsoft is intended to be as much of a resource for players as it is for hosts who organise airsoft skirmishes for us, because without them there would be no places to safely take part in our beloved pastime.