When leasing commercial property you need to think about property repairs – who is responsible or liable? If a property is in need of repairs, the leaseholder and landlord are responsible for immediately addressing repairs, in order to comply with legislation. Lack of compliance could potentially incur more costs because of those affected by property damage – neighbours or third parties. If the damage to commercial property affects others, the costs could be tremendous and end up impacting on business. Ensure it is stipulated in the lease who is responsible for repairs to the property you’ve just leased and avoid any problems that may affect the running, reputation and profitability of your business.
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.
Carefully read through your commercial lease agreement and speak to a property solicitor who can review it and adequately advice you. You need to know your legal rights but also ensure that your business doesn’t suffer the consequences of overlooked or misunderstood wording in your lease. A property solicitor with experience and expertise in business law can help you understand the impact some of the wording may have on your business. You and the landlord can be advised on alternatives that benefit both. SG
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