How to negotiate a lease

Posted: Wednesday, 8 September 2010 @ 10:16

I am often asked by business owners for help when they are taking a lease of commercial premises. Unfortunately this is after the main terms have already been agreed in principle.

Ideally you should get your solicitor involved before agreeing terms as various concessions can usually be negotiated that can save time and money for your business both immediately and in the future.

Listed below are the 10 key points to consider when talking to the landlord or their agent:

1. Ask the landlord for a rent free period

2. Include a break clause allowing the you to end the lease early

3. Insist on a photographic schedule evidencing the condition of the premises to prevent disputes at the end of the term

4. Decide whether it would be better to give the landlord a rent deposit rather than personal guarantees by the directors

5. Try to agree a Service Charge cap

6. Get any fit-out works and signage approved

7. See if the landlord will agree to a rent that goes down as well as up on review

8. Be aware - it is not standard practice for the tenant to pay the landlords legal fees on the grant of a new lease

9. Keep the right to renew the lease where possible especially if location is essential to the business like a restaurant, for example

10. If Stamp Duty is payable this can be reduced by taking a shorter lease with an option for you to renew. 

The key point is to involve an experienced solicitor at an early stage to ensure you get the best deal and avoid any onerous terms you want to avoid.

Buying business premises? Download the Quick guide to buying business premises.

Steve Petty
Commercial Property Solicitor
01926 629 005

For free advice on this topic please call us on 0845 003 5639.

This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.


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Thank you. Your response is great, very straight to the point! Hopefully this will bring an end to the matter. I will certainly be recommending your services as I am very impressed with the prompt dealing of this matter.
Janet Burbidge

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