REALWorld Law

Commercial leases

Early termination

Can a lessee be forced to leave prior to the date originally agreed and, if so, how long will this process take?

Angola

Angola

The lessor can only terminate the contract before the term elapses if the lessee defaults, thus ending the former’s obligation to maintain the contract. The law defines an exhaustive list of causes that may entitle the lessor to proceed with the termination of the contract.

The lessor has to start a lawsuit, which is a time-consuming process (approximately two to three years).

Australia

Australia

Generally no, unless there has been a breach of the lease, or there is a specific term of the lease permitting early termination.

In situations where the tenant has breached a non-essential term of the lease, the landlord may issue a notice of breach and, if the breach is not rectified within the time frame specified by the lease and recorded on the notice, the landlord may terminate the lease. Breach of an essential term of the lease may, in certain circumstances, entitle the landlord immediately to terminate the lease by notice or by re-entry.

Where the landlord becomes entitled to repossess the property, it may generally do so either by an express power of re-entry under the lease or by obtaining a Court order for possession. The landlord may need to consider any notice requirements made under the relevant State legislation.

Australian courts and tribunals will usually allow tenants relief from forfeiture of the lease and allow them to rectify breaches of the lease and retain possession of the premises, except in the most aggravated circumstances. For example, if the tenant pays any rent arrears then the court will normally allow it to remain in the premises and exercise any option for a further term, unless there is a long history of rent arrears.

Belgium

Belgium

General leases (offices, warehouses, industrial buildings)

A lease can be terminated if the lessee fails to comply with its obligations under the lease agreement. However, in such circumstances, the lease contract cannot be terminated by the lessor unilaterally but must be dissolved by a formal court decision. Any clause in a lease agreement purporting to allow unilateral termination if the lessee fails to comply with its obligations under the lease agreement, is invalid.If the lease contract is dissolved due to default by the tenant, in addition to all outstanding amounts due under the contract, compensation must be paid to the landlord, equal to the amount of rent due for the time it takes to find a new tenant, as determined by the courts. Additional damages may also be payable. Office lease contracts often specify an agreed amount of compensation, equal to between 6 and 12 months’ rent.

Any lease contract may also be terminated by mutual consent. No formal conditions need be complied with in these circumstances. However, in order to avoid potential problems, it is advisable to draw up a written agreement for the termination.

Finally, the lease contract will end automatically if the leased premises are destroyed by an outside force. In cases of partial loss of the leased premises, the tenant can opt for a reduction in rent or for termination of the lease but will not be entitled to damages.

Commercial leases (retail and workshops)

A lease can be terminated if the lessee fails to comply with its obligations under the lease agreement. However, in such circumstances, the lease contract cannot be terminated by the lessor unilaterally but must be dissolved by a formal court decision. Any clause in a lease agreement purporting to allow unilateral termination if the lessee fails to comply with its obligations under the lease agreement, is invalid.

If the lease contract is dissolved due to default by the tenant, in addition to all outstanding amounts due under the contract, compensation must be paid to the landlord equal to the amount of rent due for the time it takes to find a new tenant, as determined by the courts. Additional damages may also be payable.

The Commercial Lease Act also allows a landlord to terminate a commercial lease agreement at the end of every three years if the following conditions are all complied with:

  • There is express provision for this in the lease agreement
  • The landlord (or certain connected persons) wants to start a business on the premises
  • The tenant is notified of the termination by registered letter or by a notice served by a bailiff, at least one year before the end of the three-year period, which expressly mentions the reasons for termination
  • Depending on the nature of the business the landlord is intending to start, compensation must be paid

The parties can also terminate the agreement by mutual agreement before the end of the minimum nine-year period on condition that this is confirmed in a deed entered into in front of a Belgian public notary or contained in a statement made before a judge (juge de paix/vrederechter).

The tenant can terminate the agreement at the end of every three years, if he makes his intention known to the landlord by registered letter or by a notice served by a bailiff at least six months before the end of the current three-year period. The tenant cannot waive this right.

Finally, the lease contract will end automatically if the leased premises are destroyed by an external force. In cases of partial loss of the leased premises, the tenant can opt for a reduction in rent or for termination of the lease but will not be entitled to damages.

Commercial leases (pop-up retail and workshops)

Under the Regional pop-up lease regulations, the tenant can terminate the pop-up lease at any time by registered letter or by a notice served by a bailiff with a prior notice of one month. The parties can also terminate the pop-up lease by mutual agreement before the end of the period of one year or less on condition that this is confirmed in writing.

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Leases invariably contain a provision allowing the landlord to terminate the lease on the grounds of non-payment of rent or a breach of covenant. In the case of market rent leases, the insolvency of the tenant is usually also grounds for termination. The tenant is then obliged to give the landlord vacant possession.

If a tenant refuses to leave the premises, the landlord will need to obtain a court order to recover possession. This can take several months.

Courts almost always allow a tenant to rectify a breach of covenant and retain the premises. For example, if the tenant pays any rent arrears the court will allow them to stay unless there is a long history of arrears.

Canada

Canada

Absent a specific term included in the lease permitting the landlord to prematurely terminate the lease, or unless the tenant has breached a term of the lease, a commercial lease cannot be terminated before its term concludes. Most commercial leases contain a term permitting early termination upon the non-payment of rent, the destruction of the building or the breach of another material lease term. Rights of a landlord or tenant to terminate a residential tenancy is strictly regulated by statutory provisions under the applicable Provincial or Territorial legislation and specific advice should be sought.

In situations where the tenant has breached a non-essential term of the lease, the landlord may issue a notice of breach and, if the breach is not rectified within the time frame specified by the lease and recorded on the notice, the landlord may terminate the lease. Breach of an essential term of the lease may, in certain circumstances, entitle the landlord immediately to terminate the lease by notice or by re-entry.

Where the landlord becomes entitled to repossess the property, it may generally do so either by an express power of re-entry under the lease or by obtaining a Court order for possession. The landlord may need to comply with notice requirements under the relevant Provincial or Territorial legislation. Canadian courts and tribunals may allow tenants relief from forfeiture of the lease and allow them to rectify breaches of the lease and retain possession of the premises, except in the most aggravated circumstances. For example, if the tenant pays rent arrears then the court may allow it to remain in the premises and exercise any option for a further term, unless there is a long history of rent arrears.

China

China

The lease can be terminated early if the lessor gives written notice of termination for the reasons specified by law or in the lease. However, if early termination is not based on a specified ground, commercial leases usually provide for compensation by the lessor as well (eg several months' rent based on the rent payable that year).

Croatia

Croatia

Lease agreements contain provisions allowing the landlord to terminate the lease in certain circumstances, ie breaches of contract such as non-payment of rent etc.

The Lease and Sale of Business Premises Act provides grounds for early termination of a lease by the landlord. These include:

  • non-payment of rent
  • the tenant using the leased premises for a different purpose from that set out in the agreement; and
  • the landlord intending to use the premises for his own business where, for unavoidable reasons, the landlord's current premises are no longer available.

The landlord must bring a claim before the court for a possession order. These applications are regarded as urgent and prioritised by the court.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

The lease can be terminated early if the lessor gives notice of termination for reasons specified by law or in the lease agreement. Withdrawal from the lease agreement is also possible if this is provided for by law or in the lease agreement.

Denmark

Denmark

The lease can at any time be terminated by lessor if lessee is in breach of contract.

If lessee is not in breach of contract the following conditions apply:

  • If the lease term is fixed, the lessor cannot terminate the lease unless it is agreed between the parties.
  • If the lease term is not fixed (unlimited), the lessor can only terminate the lease under the (mandatory) provisions in the Commercial Rent Act.

Normally, a landlord will seek a court order permitting the recovery of possession of the premises and this procedure can take up to a year, sometimes even more.

France

France

In some cases, the landlord may force a tenant to leave at the end of the three-year period, but will have to pay compensation (indemnité d’éviction). The landlord under commercial leases may terminate the lease based on certain limited grounds, such as:

  • to build or rebuild the existing building;
  • to reassign the ancillary dwelling to this use; or
  • to carry out works imposed or authorised for a property restoration operation.

If the tenant defaults on the rent, the landlord can force the tenant to vacate the building. Associated legal proceedings can take around six months or more.

In addition, if the lease contains a termination clause, the landlord may terminate the lease prior to the date agreed should the tenant fail to comply with the terms and conditions of the lease. The implementation of the automatic termination clause requires a formal notice to address the breach to be served to the tenant by a bailiff. Should the tenant fail to address the breach within one month, the landlord is entitled to initiate proceedings to obtain the acknowledgment by the court of the termination of the lease.

It is to be noted that concerning the period elapsing between 12 March 2020 and 23 June 2020 inclusive, the eviction of a tenant (through the implementation of a lease’s termination clause) may only be implemented as soon as the extensions of time limits provided for by the current law/regulation applying to this period are expired — assuming the tenant’s breach has not been remedied by then. Concerning the establishments exercising an economic activity currently affected by an administrative police measure in order to contain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and depending on the tenant’s size/situation/category, sanctions are also temporarily not applicable.

Germany

Germany

Where the parties have agreed a lease with a fixed term, the landlord can only bring the lease to an end before its expiry if the tenant commits a material breach of the agreement (termination for cause). Grounds for termination include significant rent arrears, neglect of the property, surrender of the leased property to an unauthorised third party or similarly serious breaches of contract. In the case of neglect, surrender of the leased property or other serious breaches, a warning must be issued prior to termination. After termination, the landlord must file a claim to recover possession if the tenant does not vacate the premises. It may take six months or more to obtain a judgment requiring the tenant to vacate. If the tenant fails to comply with such a judgment, the landlord may be forced to evict the tenant with the help of a bailiff.

Hong Kong, SAR

Hong Kong, SAR

Commercial leases in Hong Kong do not generally contain a break clause, but have a termination clause which allows the lessor to terminate the lease when it sells the whole or part of the building or premises, or upon demolition, refurbishment, etc., of the building or premises. To exercise this right, the lessor will usually have to give not less than six months' notice in writing to the lessee, and the lease will terminate upon the expiry of the notice.

The lessor also has the right to terminate the lease upon the default of the lessee, ie non-payment of rent or breach of the lessee's obligations under the lease. Often, the parties to a lease may negotiate a cure period. This means that the lessor must first serve a notice on the lessee which specifies the breach and requests that the lessee remedies it within a certain period of time before the lessor can exercise its right to terminate the lease. If the lessee fails to remedy the breach in the time allowed the lessor can re-enter the premises subject to certain conditions. The lessee may still apply to the court for 'relief from forfeiture', however in the case of a residential tenancy, a lessor can only recover the premises with a court order.

Courts have a tendency to allow lessees to rectify breaches of the lease and stay in occupation of the premises. For example, if the lessee pays any rent arrears due then the court will normally allow it to stay in the premises unless it has a long history of rent arrears.
 

Hungary

Hungary

If the lease is lawfully terminated (eg for non-payment of rent) prior to the date originally agreed and the tenant does not surrender possession, the landlord can seek a court order and request judicial enforcement to recover possession of the premises. This procedure may take several months.

Ireland

Ireland

A tenant cannot be forced to leave prior to the date agreed in the case of a commercial lease unless they are in breach of the terms of the lease. If this is the case, the process can take six to eight months.

Different rules apply to residential property.

Italy

Italy

The landlord can claim the lease termination in case of lessee’s material breach of the lease provisions. Property leases usually contain a termination clause identifying the lease provisions the breach of which would trigger the landlord’s right to terminate the lease contract upon simple notice. Such clause usually provides for a “cure period” during which the tenant can rectify the breach of contract in order to avoid the lease termination.

Absent a termination clause, in case of lessee’s material breach of the lease provisions, the landlord would need to file a claim before the relevant court to obtain the lease termination; such proceedings can be lengthy (depending on a number of factors).

Pursuant to the Italian Civil Code, in case of lessee’s material breach of the lease provisions, the landlord can also serve to the tenant a notice to perform/rectify the breach within not less than 15 days (or any different timeframe provided for under the lease agreement) specifying that in case the tenant does not rectify the breach within such timeframe, the lease will be automatically terminated. In such a case, if the tenant does not rectify the breach within the above timeframe, the lease is considered as automatically terminated. In case the tenant objects such termination, the landlord would need to file a claim before the relevant court in order to obtain a decision confirming (or not) the termination.

If the tenant does not return the premises upon the termination of the lease, the landlord would need to start an eviction proceeding before the relevant court in order to obtain a judicial eviction order and the subsequent property release. This can take several months.

Japan

Japan

Early termination without cause

If a lease does not specify the lessor's right to early termination without cause, the lessor may not terminate the lease early.  Where the lease does contain such a clause, ‘due reasons’ must also be provided by the lessor in order to terminate the lease early.  ‘Due reasons’ for purposes of early termination are difficult to establish.  In addition, six months' prior notice of the early termination must be provided to the lessee by the lessor.

Early termination with cause

Where there exists cause for the lessor's early termination of the lease (eg due to the lessee's breach of the lease), the lessor may only terminate the lease early if the ‘trust relationship’ between the lessor and the lessee has been destroyed as a result of the cause.  The destruction of the trust relationship can be classified as a ‘due reason’ for termination.

Netherlands

Netherlands

A lease can be terminated by the lessor with due regard of the notice period and statutory termination grounds per the end of the fixed period. The lessee does not have to take statutory termination grounds into account. If a lease is entered into for an indefinite period, either the lessee or the lessor may, subject to due observance of the applicable provisions, terminate the lease at any time by giving notice of termination with due regard of the notice period. In case of retail space, a notice period of at least one year is required by law.

If a lease is entered into for a fixed period, it will not be possible for the lessee or the lessor to terminate the lease prematurely one-sided, unless the other party is in serious breach of its obligations under the lease, for example non-payment of the rent for a significant period of time (according to case law the arrears should amount – in general - to at least three months). In such cases, the competent court can be asked to dissolve the lease. Regular court proceedings will take approximately four to twelve months. To avoid the need to commence regular proceedings, it is possible to apply for the eviction of the lessee in summary proceedings. This will take approximately four to twelve weeks. A lease can always be terminated by mutual consent between the parties (irrespective of its duration).

When the lessee is declared bankrupt, either the bankruptcy trustee or the lessor may terminate the lease, in which case a notice period of three months will be sufficient. If the lessor terminates the lease, the bankruptcy trustee can start proceedings to continue the lease agreement despite the termination, in case of a substitution by another party.

Nigeria

Nigeria

The parties to the commercial lease agreement can expressly provide for early termination of the term on the conditions agreed upon. The lessor can trigger the termination provision and comply with the agreed requirements and notices as provided in the lease agreement.

The lessor can also terminate a lease where the lessee is in breach of fundamental conditions of the lease agreement including, inability to pay rent, liquidation, assignment to third party without lessor’s consent etc, and where the lessee is unable to remedy within a reasonable period the breaches that can be remedied.

The right of the lessor to an early termination of the lease still does not guarantee that possession will be delivered immediately as the lessor is still obliged under law to give appropriate notices to the lessee and proceed to court to recover possession of the property. The process of evicting a lessee through the court is often tedious and long-drawn depending on the circumstances of the particular case.

Norway

Norway

Commercial lease agreements usually contain provisions for recovering vacant possession without court proceedings in cases of non-payment of rent. The tenant has a right to receive a prior warning and an opportunity to deliver up the property and associated fixtures to the landlord voluntarily before losing possession. Eviction usually takes between six and 16 weeks, but this can vary depending on the workload of the Execution and Enforcement Commissioner.

If the contract does not contain an eviction clause then the landlord must obtain a court order.

If the tenant commits any material breach of the rental agreement then the landlord is normally also entitled to revoke the contract which means the tenant must vacate the property.

Poland

Poland

Leases invariably contain a provision allowing the landlord to terminate on breach of the lease (after the tenant has been warned) or on non-payment of rent. Termination for non-payment of rent is possible after two consecutive rental periods. Notice is not required where the tenant has a lease for use only (najem) (but where the lease for use only is a lease of premises (najem lokalu), the landlord must warn the tenant in writing and give him an additional time limit of one month to pay the rent arrears). A three-month notice period is required in relation to a tenancy (dzierzawa).

The landlord must seek a court order in order to recover possession of the property. The court order and related proceedings often take several months. The tenant can, by a notarial deed, agree to accept enforcement proceedings for eviction. This reduces the amount of time it takes to obtain a court order since the court's role is then limited to verifying the validity of the notarial deed.

However, the eviction orders are not executed in the period between 1 November and 31 March next year, if the premise for temporary purposes was not indicated to the person to be evicted.

Portugal

Portugal

The landlord can only terminate the contract before the end of the term if the tenant defaults, thus ending the former’s obligation to maintain the contract. The law defines some of the causes that may entitle the landlord to proceed with the termination of the contract. Besides these causes the landlord may state others that might be considered as the tenant’s default. This rule applies to residential or non-residential leases.

The landlord may terminate the contract by notice in writing to the tenant, without needing to resort to court, if the basis for the contract termination is a default in the payment of the rent for more than three months, a default in paying charges or expenses, or the fact that the tenant is opposed to the execution of works ordered to be carried out by a public entity. The landlord may also terminate the contract by the same means if the basis for contract termination is a delay in the payment of the rent, for more than eight days, on more than four occasions, whether consecutive or not, within a period of 12 months.

In all other cases, the landlord will have to start a lawsuit, which is a time-consuming process (approximately two to three years).

Romania

Romania

Where the tenant is in default in paying rent or does not use the premises properly and in accordance with their designated use, the landlord generally has the right to ask the competent court to have the lease agreement terminated and for the leased premises to be vacated and handed back. A landlord may also claim compensation for the damages resulting from the tenant’s default.

The parties can expressly agree in the lease agreement that the lease may be terminated without any interference by the competent court. The vacation of the premises can only be requested on the basis of a court order and the tenant will be liable for the payment of the rent due for the period up to the moment of the court's decision is properly served, or the effective vacation of the premises.

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic

In general, the Slovakian Civil Code allows the landlord to terminate a lease agreement for a temporary occupation on three months' notice. In addition, in accordance with the Slovakian Civil Code, the landlord may withdraw from the lease agreement in the following cases:

  1. If the tenant has sublet the property contrary to the provisions of the lease contract
  2. If the tenant has made alterations without the landlord's consent which may result in significant damage
  3. If the tenant may be causing damage to the premises or his actions may result in significant damage to the premises, despite having received a written warning, and
  4. If the tenant has not paid the rent due despite having received a warning
  5. If the premises are vacated following a decision of the relevant authority

This does not apply to leases of apartments or non-residential premises. In the case of an apartment lease, under the Slovakian Civil Code, the lease can be terminated by the landlord only in the following cases:

  1. If the landlord needs the flat for himself, his spouse, children, grandchildren, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, parents or brothers and sisters
  2. If the tenant stops performing work which it is bound to do by the lease
  3. If the tenant or the member of his household, grossly damages the apartment, its accessories, common areas or the common facilities of the building or permanently disrupts the ability of the other tenants or owners to live peacefully, endangers safety or behaves in an anti-social manner in the building
  4. If the tenant grossly violates his duties in the lease, in particular by not paying the rent or reimbursement for performance provided with the use of the apartment for more than three months or by subletting the apartment (or a part of it) without the prior written consent of the landlord
  5. If, with regard to public interest, it is necessary to treat the apartment or house in a way which makes their use impossible or if the apartment or house requires repairs the execution of which mean the apartment or house cannot be used for at least six months
  6. If the tenant no longer complies with the conditions to use a special apartment
  7. If the tenant uses the apartment other than for living without the consent of the landlord

The notice period for termination of an apartment lease is three months and, if provided for by the Slovakian Civil Code, can be extended in writing by the landlord.

Under the Act on Leasing and Subleasing Commercial Premises a landlord of non-residential premises can terminate the contract in writing prior to the expiration of the definite period only in the following circumstances:

  1. If the tenant uses the non-residential premises contrary to the agreement
  2. If the tenant has not paid rent for more than one month or owes fees for services related to the lease
  3. If the tenant fails to provide certain services to the landlord (for which the payment is made) properly and on time
  4. If the tenant or those who use the non-residential premises with him grossly disturb peace and order despite having received a written warning
  5. If the use of the non-residential premises is connected to the use of a residential apartment and the tenant has been ordered to vacate the apartment
  6. If the building is to be altered or demolished
  7. If the tenant has sublet the property without the landlord's permission, and
  8. If the premises are part of a property that is repossessed by another owner under certain statutory provisions.

Leases of non-residential premises concluded for an indefinite period of time can be terminated by giving three months' notice (unless a different notice period is agreed upon by the parties) without stating a reason.

Lease of land for agricultural purposes concluded for an indefinite period of time can be terminated by 1 November with 1 year’s notice (unless a different notice period is agreed between by the parties).

Lease of land for agricultural purposes concluded for an indefinite period of time, while operating an agricultural holding can only be terminated by giving 5-years notice period.

Spain

Spain

Where the parties agreed on a fixed-term lease, the landlord may only terminate the agreement before its expiry in the event of a material breach of the lease by the tenant. The Spanish Civil Procedure Law establishes a procedure for obtaining the eviction of the premises if the tenant does not hand over the leased property to the landlord once the lease has expired. The landlord is entitled to file a claim to recover possession, once the claim is accepted for processing, the tenant shall have ten days to respond in writing. Within five days after the answer to the claim, the Court Legal Secretary shall appoint the parties to a hearing which shall take place within a maximum term of one month from the appointment.

The legal proceedings term may vary from six months to one year until repossession of the leased property.

Sweden

Sweden

The landlord has a right to terminate the lease immediately if the tenant does not pay the rent, breaches the contract in certain ways set out in the Swedish Rental Act or forfeits the contract by breaching certain provisions of that Act. However, the tenant can rectify rent arrears by paying the landlord within two weeks of receiving notice. If the tenant refuses to leave the premises, the landlord must seek an eviction order, either in court or through the enforcement service. It can take several months for the landlord to regain possession of the premises.

Thailand

Thailand

This issue is a contractual matter. It depends on negotiation between the parties to the contract.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

Within Abu Dhabi and outside the Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone

Under Article 23 of Abu Dhabi Law No 20 of 2006 concerning the Letting of Property and Regulation of the Letting Relationship between Lessors and Lessees, the lessor may ask the lessee to vacate the premises only for the following reasons:

  • If the lessee fails to pay the rent due within the periods fixed in Article 11 (a period not exceeding 21 days from the due date agreed in writing if the property is let for residential purposes unless otherwise agreed or 30 days from the due date agreed in writing if the premises is let for commercial, industrial or vocational purpose) against a receipt indicating payment unless otherwise agreed.
  • If the lessee assigns or sublets all or some of the premises except with the permission or authorization of the lessor.
  • If the lessee or the sublessee allows more than the generally accepted level of occupancy.
  • If the lessee uses or permits the premises to be used in a manner contrary to the tenancy contract conditions or which impairs the lessor’s interest or uses the premises for other purposes than those for which it is let.
  • If the lessee uses or permits the premises to be used in a way that is detrimental to health, or constitutes a disturbance or is contrary to public order or manners.
  • If the lessor wishes to demolish the premises for rebuilding, an increase in height, additions or alterations (subject to a number of conditions).
  • If the lessor wishes to occupy the premises for his own purposes (provided that he does not own another habitable property within the jurisdiction of the municipality in which the premises are located subject to:
    • Serving the lessee a notice six months prior to the expiration of the tenancy contract, and
    • The lessor occupying the premises for one uninterrupted year after they are vacated by the lessee. If the lessor fails to reoccupy the premises without acceptable reasons within three months from the vacation date or occupies the premises for less than one year or lets the premises to another lessee, the original lessee can obtain an order allowing him to re-occupy and/or be paid compensation. The Rental Disputes Resolution Committee (RDRC) may determine the appropriate compensation, provided that it does not exceed one year’s rental.

In all cases, the RDRC may give the lessee a suitable respite before he must vacate, provided that it does not exceed six months.

There are no guidelines as to how long the process would take.

Within the Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone

In the Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone, there are no regulations setting out grounds for termination, which means the parties are free to contract as they wish.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

There are certain circumstances in which a lessee can be required by the lessor to vacate the leased premises prior to the end of the term. These circumstances are set out in article 25 of Law No (26) of 2007, as amended and are as follows:

  • If the lessee fails to pay the rent, in whole or part, within 30 days of the lessor notifying the lessee that payment is due (unless the parties agree otherwise) 
  • If the lessee subleases the premises in whole or part without the landlord's written approval. In such a case, the subtenant is also evicted and may seek compensation from the lessee 
  • If the lessee uses the premises for illegal or immoral purposes 
  • If the premises are a commercial shop and the lessee has not occupied it for 30 consecutive days or 90 non-consecutive days in a year (unless the parties agree otherwise) 
  • If the lessee makes changes to the premises which endanger the safety of the premises such that it cannot be restored to its original condition, or if the lessee intentionally or due to gross negligence, causes damage to the premises or allows others to cause such damage 
  • If the lessee uses the premises for purposes other than those it was leased for or in a way that violates planning, building and land use regulations 
  • If the premises are in danger of collapse (the lessor must provide the lessee with a technical report evidencing this issued by Dubai Municipality or accredited by it) 
  • If the lessee fails to observe legal obligations or comply with the lease covenants, within 30 days of the lessor notifying the lessee that it is in breach of the same 
  • If development requirements in Dubai require demolition of the premises in accordance with the instructions of government authorities

In all the above cases, the lessor must notify the lessee through the Notary Public or by registered mail.

If the lessee disputed the grounds for early termination of the lease, it would be able to lodge a case at the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre (based at the Dubai Land Department), which determines landlord and tenant disputes in Dubai.

UK - England and Wales UK - England and Wales

UK - England and Wales

Leases invariably contain a provision allowing the landlord to terminate the lease on non-payment of rent or if the terms of the lease are breached. In the case of market rent leases, the tenant's insolvency is also usually grounds for termination. The landlord must first serve a notice on the tenant stating what the breach is and requesting that the tenant remedies it. If the tenant fails to remedy the breach in the time allowed the landlord can re enter the premises subject to certain conditions. The tenant may still apply to the court for “relief from forfeiture”. During the Covid-19 pandemic, a landlord’s ability to recover possession from a tenant has been reduced in some situations. Most of these restrictions have now been lifted.

Courts have a tendency to allow tenants to rectify breaches of the lease and stay in occupation of the premises. For example, if the tenant pays any rent arrears due then the court will normally allow them to stay in the premises unless they have a long history of rent arrears.

UK - Scotland

UK - Scotland

The landlord has no automatic right to terminate the lease except where the lease provides for a landlord's break right or the landlord exercises its right to 'irritate' the lease (ie bring the lease to an end).

Leases normally contain a detailed clause which sets out the basis on which the landlord can terminate the lease on the grounds of the tenant's non-compliance with its obligations, for example non-payment of rent, breach of non-monetary obligations, or as a result of the tenant's insolvency.

In the case of a breach of the terms of the lease, the landlord must serve a formal notice on the tenant requiring compliance with the obligations in question within a “reasonable” period (which in the case of non-payment of rent is subject to a statutory minimum period of 14 days ). If the tenant fails to comply with this notice then the landlord will need to raise a court action to recover possession, which can take several months.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Generally, a lessee can only be forced to leave the premises before the contract expires as a result of a court order, if the lessor seeks to terminate the contract early based on the grounds stipulated in the contract and/or Ukrainian law. Nonetheless, the lessor must notify the lessee that termination is to occur and the lessee has at least 20 days to respond to the notification.

United States

United States

A well drafted lease will always grant the landlord the right to recover possession of the premises if the tenant defaults under its lease obligations. However, leases will generally grant the tenant a grace period in which to cure most instances of default before the lease can be terminated and possession recovered by the landlord. State law will govern the process for recovering possession and certain States grant tenants additional statutory rights affording the tenant an opportunity to cure the default. Please consult a lawyer qualified in the state in question for details of how long the process typically takes in a particular locality.

In addition, sometimes leases explicitly grant the landlord a right to terminate the lease prior to expiration of the term. Such special termination rights are not common to any particular locality or property type – their inclusion is entirely dependent upon the deal negotiated between the parties.

It is also important to note that some leases, particularly for smaller office spaces in multi-tenant buildings, will give a landlord the right to recapture any portion of a leased premises that a tenant proposes to assign or sublease.  In effect, this recapture right serves as a lease termination right.  In addition, some leases (again, particularly for smaller office spaces in multi-tenant buildings) will give a landlord the right to relocate a leased premises elsewhere on the property.  In effect, this relocation right serves as a lease termination right for the premises being relocated (while keeping the lease in effect for the new premises).

Finally, it is common for leases to give landlords (and, in many cases, tenants) a right to terminate the lease in the event of extensive damage caused by casualty (eg fire, flood, etc.) or if the government exercises a right of eminent domain/condemnation (eg to acquire the leased premises and/or the property on which the leased premises is situated).

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

The lease agreement typically makes provision for the circumstances in which the lease can be terminated (early termination) and the lessee is then required to vacate the premises. This is normally in the case of non-payment of the rental or operating costs, a failure to comply with the obligations in terms of the lease agreement or upon a failure to rectify a breach of a condition of the lease agreement, having received written notification to do so. The contract will also provide for termination of the lease agreement in the even that the tenant absconds, deserts or vacates the property without giving proper notice.

In the event that one of the circumstances mentioned above has occurred and the agreement is terminated, but the lessee still remains in occupation of the property, the eviction process would then need to be followed.