Commercial property solicitors: business premises
Leases (landlords & tenants) & freehold (buying & selling):
- freehold business premises sale/purchase/remortgage
- drafting/negotiating/advising on transfers (assignments) of existing leases
- drafting/negotiating short term lease/licence arrangements
- commercial property work related to the sale of a business
- advice on commercial mortgages
- deal negotiation and projects
- finance and security
- development and planning issues
- extensions/renewals of existing leases
- negotiating/advising on termination of leases (lease surrender)
- possession proceedings
- advice and negotiation on rent reviews
- advising on dilapidation issues and litigation
- service charge issues.
All legal work on leases – acting for landlords, tenants & investors.
All legal work on freehold commercial property to buy or sell.
These impose serious long-term liabilities on tenants: landlords & tenants prudently handle with care.
Our team advises landlords and tenants on all aspects of lease negotiation. Areas include:
- lease renewal and surrender
- licences (assignment, alteration, subletting)
- rent review.
Some key issues to consider in relation to a commercial lease are:
- Length of term: In recent years there has been a growing tendency for tenants to seek shorter terms. There are a number of pros and cons for both the parties to a commercial lease in this respect and it is worthwhile seeking advice to help establish the approach most suitable for your business and position.
- Rent, rent reviews and break clauses: It is important to seek professional advice to establish the fair rent for the premises. You should also consider whether your lease should contain an ‘option to determine’, or in other words, whether the landlord and tenant should be entitled to break the lease at some point during the term.
- Obligation to repair: It is important that the tenant fully understands the extent of his obligation to repair, whether this is an internal repairing liability, a full repairing liability and/or a liability to refund a proportion of the costs incurred by the landlord in repairing a building of which the premises form a part.
- Assignment or sub-letting: When agreeing the terms for a commercial lease, the landlord and tenant should consider the arrangements for assignment or sub-letting.
- Alterations: Most landlords will wish to keep total control over the structure of the building and carefully drafted lease should reflect this. However, a tenant should consider whether he might need to make structural alterations and may wish to include this provision in the lease.
- Improvements: A lease should state how a tenant’s improvements are to be reflected when the rent is reviewed, particularly where the tenant has carried out extensive re-fitting works.
- The authorised use of the premises: The landlord should usually ensure that the “user” provisions in a lease prevent a tenant from changing its use to one which attracts a lower rental value than the use the landlord intends. Equally, most tenants will wish to make sure that the user provisions in the lease allow him as much flexibility as is reasonable, so that if he has to assign the lease, he is not unduly limited when the premises are marketed as to the type of business which the user provisions in the lease allow to be carried on.
- Formal notices: It is important that the commercial landlord or tenant has a full understanding of the need for and the effect of the formal notices required in connection with leases. These notices cover the termination and renewal of leases, the operation of break clauses, the operation of rent review provisions in leases, and repair and dilapidation notices in particular. Failure to serve or deal with notices within the relevant time limits can result in severe consequences.
- Forfeiture of lease: Where necessary, we can assist with the repossession of a commercial property, including terminating the lease and handing control back to the landlord. We will advise you on correct procedure and ensure that the lease is forfeited through peaceful entry of the premises, changing the locks and correct display of the notices of forfeiture.
Sales and purchases of business often involve transfer of the target commercial premises.
Buying a business with its property requires a business sale agreement together with a grant of new lease or assignment of existing lease.
Purchase or sale of shares in a limited company brings with it the company’s ownership of its property, but a buyer needs to be properly advised as part of its legal due diligence what liabilities and assets it is taking on with ownership of the company, and the seller will need to make full disclosure against property warranties.
We have strong planning resources and can advise and represent on a range of commercial planning issues from application procedure through to appeals and enforcement.
We can help with all aspects of property finance, including mortgage arrangements, equity funding and rental deposits.
Efficient pragmatic & reasonably priced