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Do I really need a Solicitor for a Commercial Lease?

Using a solicitor when entering into a lease of commercial premises is not a legal requirement, however it is highly recommended.

Commercial property law is complex, and the financial stakes are usually high therefore having a solicitor review your lease ensures that you are adequately protected from onerous conditions and inflexible leases.

Your solicitor will be able to review your lease and flag up any issues early on and will also be able to advise you on how to resolve those issues before signing the lease.

Below we have listed some issues that your solicitor could advise you on when negotiating a commercial lease:

Repair obligations

In a commercial lease it is standard for a Tenant to covenant to keep the premises “in repair”.

A covenant to keep the property in repair includes an obligation to put the property into repair even if the property was not in disrepair at the start of the lease. Therefore, your solicitor can help to water down this obligation and negotiate a reference to a schedule of condition so that you do not have to keep the premises in any better state of condition or repair than they were in at the start of the lease.

Break conditions

From a Tenant’s point of view it is extremely useful to include a break clause in the lease as it will allow some flexibility to bring the lease to an end at any time on a few months’ notice or on a fixed date during the lease term, provided a notice is given. However, the Landlord will usually insert conditions that the Tenant must comply with in order to exercise the break option. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether those conditions are too onerous and ensure that the Landlord’s break conditions are reasonable.

Security of Tenure

A Tenant who has occupied the premises for business purposes has a statutory right to a new lease at the end of the contractual term. However, there are number of instances when this law does not apply for example if the Landlord wants the property back for development purposes or if the tenant has agreed to exclude security of tenure.

If the Tenant has agreed to exclude the security of tenure, then the Tenant will have no right to stay in the premises when the lease ends. Therefore, it is important to instruct a solicitor as they will be able to advise you on the implications of this.

To conclude we would say it is extremely important to instruct a solicitor to draft and negotiate a commercial lease whether you are a landlord or a tenant. We have only highlighted some of the issues above but there is a lot that could go wrong in a commercial lease if you do not know or understand the full implications of what you are agreeing.

Get in Touch

At Barrett & Co Solicitors we have great experience in representing Landlords and Tenants in drafting and negotiating leases for commercial premises. Therefore, if you are thinking of granting or taking a lease of a commercial premise then please give us a ring on 0118 958 9711 or email us on [email protected] and we will be happy to provide you with a quote.

Further Reading:

Selling a Property as a Trustee

Joint Tenants vs Tenants in Common

What actually happens when I buy a house?

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Get in Touch

Our Property and Commercial Department is headed by Martin Reynolds an experienced commercial solicitor with a background in commercial dispute resolution and insolvency law. To contact Martin and his team; call 0118 958 9711 or email [email protected].

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Advantage House, 87 Castle Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7SN. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 549694).

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