Commercial leases

Even as solicitors, we can understand when there are occasions that businesses might look to save costs by buying a simplified legal precedent online or in looking for a cheap solution to a legal problem.

However, we can genuinely say that when it comes to commercial property situations, whether as Landlord or Tenant, and specifically as regards commercial leases, this is an area where it is vital to have good advice . The fundamental reasons we say this are :-

  • Whilst commercial leases are forms of contract like any other contract, they are generally the longest length of commitment (in time terms) of all contracts. Once you are locked into a contract of 5 or 10 years or even longer, if the terms are disadvantageous at best or catastrophic at worst, you have a major problem
  • Commercial lease contracts really are contracts where the “devil can be in the detail”. There are many clauses where the effects of the wording may seem intangible to the untrained eye but which can have major and costly implications if you are on the wrong end of the benefit iof that clause.

The types of issues to be aware of, whether as landlord or tenant and on which we can advise, include but are not limited to :-

  • the length of the lease and break clauses
  • should the lease be renewable under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954
  • the issue of authorize guarantee agreements (AGA’s) on assignment of lease
  • rent review clauses
  • repairing covenants
  • rent deposits
  • service charges
  • VAT status on payment of rent
  • planning use for the property
  • dilapidations liability
  • landlords consents (licence) for assignment, underletting or alterations
  • pre-contract enquiries regarding the property