Commercial Property: Should I Use A Solicitor For A 5 Year Lease?

The majority of businesses need premises to operate from. These can include retail shops, offices, workshops, factories or storage facilities. While some businesses own the premises they operate from, most occupy under a lease paying a market rent. However there is much more to a commercial lease than just the payment of rent. 

 

In addition to the rent payable, it is not uncommon for commercial leases and agreements to contain pages of detailed provisions, all of which will affect the Tenant named in the lease. 

The lease, which is often landlord biased, can impose a number of onerous obligations on Tenants, some of which may not be reasonable.  In addition to the Lease itself property legislation has a large impact on the Tenant dealing with the property. It is therefore important for Tenants to obtain a solicitor’s advice in order to fully understand their rights and obligations before completing a Lease. 

 

Discovering Problems After Taking The Lease

Legal investigations into the property carried out by an experienced solicitor will reveal many things about the property, including whether or not the Landlord actually has the power to grant the lease. Searches will also reveal if there are any adverse rights that may affect the property as well as any rights that benefit the property. Solicitors can carry out a range of enquiries and searches to discover such things as planning permissions affecting the land, whether the property is connected to mains utilities and a host of other information.

 

The Pitfalls Of Trying To Sign A Lease Without Legal Advice 

It is common for Tenants who have not been represented by a solicitor to enter a lease without finding out the extent of their obligations under the lease. For example, without advice on the repairing obligations, a Tenant may have to put the property in a better state of repair than it was at the commencement of the lease at the Tenant’s cost. Dilapidation claims brought by the Landlord can be very expensive at the end of the term so Tenants must know their position before entering into a lease.

 

5 Year Leases

There are also considerations towards the extension of the lease.  If a lease is not within the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, the Tenant may have to vacate the proeprty at the end of the term and have no right to renew the lease. If a Tenant is carrying out costly fit out works, they may want the option to take a new lease at the end of the term.  If this is the case, the Tenant will need to consider or negotiate some protections against being asked to leave after the 5 year period.

 

AMD has a team of experienced Commercial Property Solicitors.  Contact AMD’s solicitors in Bristol today on 0117 973 3989 and ask to speak to a member of our commercial property team. Alternatively, please feel free to email the Head of our Commercial Property Department, Janine Harris on janineharris@amdsolicitors.com

 

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