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How can I get out of the lease now that I no longer want these business premises?

The first step is to check what rights the lease gives you. For example, you may have the right to assign the lease to another business (so that they take over the tenancy), sublet the premises, or give notice to bring the lease to an end.

Failing that, you can attempt to negotiate the surrender of the lease with the landlord. Typically the landlord will expect payment for agreeing to this.

You should be aware that subletting or assigning the lease does not usually completely remove your responsibilities and potential liabilities:

  • If you sublet the premises, you continue to be the tenant under the original lease, and your existing responsibilities continue to be the same. In turn, your subtenant has a sublease requiring them to pay you rent, look after the premises and so on.
  • If you assign the lease, the new tenant takes over the tenancy responsibilities. But you may continue to be liable if the new tenant fails to pay the rent.

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