Disputes involving commercial property can be costly whether you are a Landlord or Tenant. As a Landlord the dispute may adversely affect your investment and as a Tenant, your business.
We act for Landlords and Tenants and can provide expert advice on a preventative basis as well as pursuing and defending claims when a dispute has arisen. Disputes do not have to proceed to court, we will always attempt to negotiate or mediate a settlement on your behalf prior to court action being initiated.
Our services include:
– Contested lease renewals;
– Rent reviews;
– Breaches of Covenant, including forfeiture or relief applications;
– Breach of Lease terms;
– Dilapidation Claims;
– Exercising break clauses;
– Assignment, sub-letting, change of use and alterations;
– Recovery of monies under the lease.
This is not an exhaustive list so if you need to talk to a lawyer, our business-focused team are on hand to give clear advice on practical solutions. We are committed to taking the time to understand your business and providing solutions which are tailored to your needs.
With solutions in mind, we hope the following list of common pitfalls will be of some use:
Parties to a Lease
We always recommend that you ‘get to know’ your counterpart. It could be a long term relationship so speaking to referees is essential. Personal liability may also be preferred over limited liability.
Length of Lease
If you are a new or small business you may not want to commit to a 10-25 year lease. If you are a large business you may not want a 1-3 year lease. Parties should consider their business needs and the current market when making any decision in respect of lease length.
Use of Premises
This may seem obvious, but parties should ensure that the lease permits the specific business use needed. Your business model may change due to market fluctuations and local needs, and so you may want the lease to be flexible.
Assignment/Sub-letting the lease
The tenant may want the option of passing the lease on. The Landlord may want to avoid this or consider inserting a guarantee clause making the original tenant liable in the event of the new tenant’s default.
Who is responsible? A full repairing lease may not be appropriate for a short term tenant. Landlord’s may want to undertake repairs at the tenant’s cost. Whatever, the parties decide, it should be clear from the outset along with details of the procedure to follow in the event of repairs being undertaken.