I am thinking of taking a lease of new premises – when should I speak to my solicitor?

Most businesses will, at some stage, decide that they need to have premises to operate from whether this is a shop, a unit on an industrial estate, an office or something else.  Often the idea about taking premises is discussed and thought about for a lengthy period of time before you actually start looking for something or in cases it can be a “spur of the moment” decision. 

Finding your first business premises is an exciting and, sometimes, stressful period involving speaking to agents, looking at websites and visiting properties.  Once you have found a property you will have to find out the terms upon which the landlord is willing to let the property either directly from him or via his agent.  There often follows a period of negotiation whilst you try to agree the length of the lease, whether there should be break clauses, what the rent should be and when rent reviews should take place and whether there should be any rent free period.  Also, lots of other terms are also discussed.  Once these are all agreed they are included in what is known as the “Heads of Terms” which the agent then passes ontothe solicitors acting for both parties.

In commercial transactions these Heads of Terms are often considered to be sacrosanct so any suggestion of variation of them either by the landlord, the tenant or their legal advisers can upset the other parties. 

However, especially if you have not taken a lease previously or granted a commercial lease it can happen that when you do speak to your solicitors they suggest that other items should be included in the Heads of Terms or that there should be variations to them.

Therefore, if you are thinking of either granting a commercial lease or taking a commercial lease it is a good idea to speak with a solicitor experienced in commercial transactions to obtain advice as to what terms should or should not be included and/or agreed prior to agreeing the Heads of Terms.

If you require any assistance in relation to the grant or taking of a new commercial lease or any other business matters please contact Courtyard Solicitors LLP.