When you visit the premises, check who your neighbours will be. This is very important as it will affect your business. You’ll also need to know if your business will affect residents and other businesses, and in what way. Check the state of the premises – how much it will cost to repair any damages and who will pay for repairs before you sign the lease. Check if the structure of the building and facilities comply with health and safety. In short, are the premises fit for purpose? Will your business prosper in the area?
Did you know that it is reasonable to ask the landlord for a rent-free period? If you check the property out before committing to leasing, make a list of anything that needs repairing and altering. You will have some refurbishing work to do, so the time you’ll spend repairing and refurbishing the property will mean effectively loss of income because you won’t be trading from the premises. You’ll be surprised at how accommodating a landlord can be if you’re carrying out repairs and improvements to the property. Remember also that once you sign the lease, you’re responsible for council tax and any utility bills – these are a burden to the landlord until you sign the lease.
After carefully and thoroughly reading the lease before making a commitment and signing it, check if there are any clauses relating to repairs, improvements and alterations. It’s not enough to get a smile and a handshake from your landlord, you need a legal agreement by way of a clause or clauses in the contract. So decide first what repairs, improvements and alterations will be needed, discuss it with the landlord and agree to include these as clauses in your contract.
And talking about clauses in the contract, as you’re in discussions with the landlord, ask if they’re happy to add and alter clauses in your contract. A lease agreement can be a template or standard by default but it can and should be amended to suit each and every business. If there’s no flexibility in accommodating a lease to a new tenant and their business, then there’s very little faith in your future landlord’s flexibility – you should find it easy to liaise and negotiate with your landlord.
A break clause option allows you to end the lease if you need to leave the premises because your business has done so well that you need a bigger space, or the very opposite has taken place and you need to relocate in order to save your business. Whatever the reason, it would be ideal not to be tied down to a full term lease, and to have an understanding with your landlord that if things take a different direction, you’ll both be ready. With a break clause in the contract you won’t need to worry about penalties for terminating a contract earlier than expected.
If you would like to have an informal discussion with a commercial property solicitor and look at further steps to consider before leasing a commercial property, please give us a call. Your first consultation will be free. By Sandra Garcao
Venetia Lawson-Cruttenden [solicitor] is fantastic! She is always so thorough and efficient and gives you the
DG Law supported us through a very difficult contractual negotiation to achieve exactly the outcome
We were very pleased with the way that DG Law helped us on our transaction
Thanks for all the help from DG Law in pulling together our somewhat complicated loan.
DG Law resolved a difficult lease renewal for us and their services were excellent –
I needed understanding and experienced legal advice. DG Law provided an excellent service at a
My experience was second to none – the service was professional and personal. DG Law
DG Law always step up to the plate on our transactions and handle the various
DG Law was recommended to me and my partner and I received excellent advice –
Having worked with DG Law a number/couple of times now, I have been really impressed
DG Law were constantly at hand, and kept pro-active throughout the thorny process of getting
DG Law organised and ran a very useful session to help to make our team’s
DG Law came recommended to me and whilst setting up a new business it was
We were recommended three lawyers to handle the sale of our seven year old successful
We live by our core values of transparency, flexibility and being honourable – every day
We put ourselves in your shoes so we understand your problems from the inside out
We deliver our advice in a way that is easy to understand