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The popularity of pop-up shops

As the retail landscape has changed considerably over the last 10 years, it is estimated that around 1 in 10 shops across the UK are currently empty, and here in Kent in some parts of the county, the figure is likely to be much higher. Commercial property landlords may be approached by or would like to target pop-up retailers for a short term arrangement which can help bring extra footfall and interest to an area and also to help them avoid liability having to pay Council Tax on the empty property.

But what should they be aware of? Landlords may consider using a licence, lease, tenancy at will or even a hire agreement. As the agreement is likely to be for a short period of time, a landlord may assume that a licence to occupy or a tenancy at will may be the best way to proceed.

The landlord should however be careful and remember that these documents may afford the tenant security of tenure if not used properly. My own recommendation is for a landlord to consider using a short-form lease that is excluded from security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.

Pop ups have become a regular and established part of the retail environment, but landlords should make sure they take care to ensure the arrangement doesn’t create more work or extra costs for them which outweigh the overall benefit.

Paul Burbidge can be contacted at