Taking a new lease of premises is a serious step. You will be entering into a long term liability that you cannot get out of easily.

Below are a few key questions you should keep in mind to ensure you do not find yourself dealing with unexpected problems or obligations:

  • Is the lease length acceptable? (how long will you need it for?)
  • Do I want ‘security of tenure’ or am I happy being forced to move out at the end of the lease, perhaps against my wishes?
  • What if I want to leave before the end? Do I need a break clause? What exactly is a break clause?
  • If I do not need the lease anymore, will I be able to assign it to someone else easily?
  • Can I use it for my proposed business does it have the right planning permission and permitted use in the lease?
  • What am I taking a lease of the whole building or just the inside of it?
  • Will I need to alter it before I can use it? (You might need permission to do this)
  • How much is the service charge going to be and are there any caps on the amount?
  • Can I persuade the landlord to carry out works for me or agree some incentives such as a rent free period?
  • Am I happy with the rent review period? (If the lease is more than say 3 or 4 years there will usually be a rent review)
  • Am I happy with being responsible for the repairs to the building and should the landlord be responsible for part of them too?
  • Will I have to pay VAT on the rent and can I recover it?

There are a lot of other issues to consider, and you take a risk when you enter into a lease without seeking advice or understanding what the terms will mean for you and your business. It is always advisable to seek assistance from a solicitor, and where necessary other professionals such as surveyors before entering into a lease.

If you would like to obtain further information on our commercial property services you can call us on 0207 183 0084 or e-mail us directly on info@olaleslie.com advising us of your circumstances and requirements.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

We are commercial property and business solicitors in Central London but also cover South London, North London, West London, East London, Berkshire, Kent, Surrey, Essex, the Isle of Wight, Edgware, Hendon, Colindale, Harrow, Wembley, West Hampstead, Finchley, Acton, Ealing, Southall, Hayes, Hounslow, Hammersmith, Chiswick, Fulham, Putney, Barnes, Wimbledon, Gerrards Cross, Slough, Moorgate, Aldgate, Edgware Road, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Westminster, Green Park, Mayfair, Picadilly, Covent Garden, Park Lane, Hyde Park, Chelsea, Twickenham, Holborn, Nationwide.