Leases of Office Premises

We regularly act for commercial landlords and tenants for leases of their office premises

Contact us on: 01483 751878
Hannah



Hannah is a qualified solicitor and has plenty of experience acting for both landlords and tenants who wish to negotiate new leases to occupy office premises. The usual documentation from the landlord’s solicitors consists of:
•evidence of the landlord’s proof of ownership of the building;
•an energy performance certificate;
•the draft commercial lease;
•the draft rent deposit deed;
•the landlords replies to the Commercial Property Standard enquiries and documents referred to in the replies such as buildings insurance, service charge accounts, asbestos report; planning permissions for the lawful use of the premises for office purposes.

Deal specific documentation There may also be deal specific documentation such as: a draft contract for lease (where for example access is required to the office to carry out telecommunications installation or internal partitioning prior to the lease beginning) a draft licence to carry out internal alterations to the property; a declaration required by law to exclude the tenants legal right to a new lease at the end of the agreed term (making renewal at the landlord’s express discretion); a draft authorised guarantee agreement; a land registry compliant plan if the lease is for more than seven years; draft licence to park vehicles; draft side letter changing the frequency of the rent payments from quarterly to monthly. Survey & Searches The tenant is strongly advised to arrange a survey and purchase a schedule of condition to the office premises, more so if the lease is a full repair and insuring lease of the whole of the building as opposed to a lease of a suite within a building of more than one occupier.

The tenant is also advised to purchase a local authority search, commercial water and drainage search, and an environmental search through our offices. These “searches” which are basically a set of enquiries directed at public bodies where information is recorded about the building, in order to obtain information such as whether the building has the correct planning permissions and buildings regulations consents, that the foul water and surface water is recorded as discharging to public sewers, and that the land within which the building is located is unaffected by historical contamination issues.

Since the survey and the searches can sometimes take longer than a couple of weeks to obtain it is important to have these ordered as soon as possible. Additional factors to consider Furthermore, do factor into your budget additional costs such as business rates, utility rates if not rent inclusive, and additional legal fees if any of the deal specific documentation need approving or if the lease is an underlease (lease being granted to you by a tenant not by the freeholder) and the head landlord’s legal fees need to be met. Also, did you know that commercial rent can attract stamp duty land tax, depending on the length of the lease and the amount of annual rent including any vat payable? So stamp duty land tax may be payable even if the lease is being granted for a small premium. Where a lease for more than seven years is granted a stamp duty land tax return will usually need to be completed and submitted to the inland revenue. If you choose to use our services If you choose to instruct us to act on your behalf we will advise you on the clauses within the lease, and the clauses which we feel are missing from the lease. You may have agreed a “break clause“ (opportunity to bring the lease term of years to an early end) and if so we can advise you on the landlord’s solicitors suggested clause .

We will advise you of your rights and obligations at the beginning of the lease, your obligations while you are in occupation of the office premises and also equally importantly what the lease says about the condition you must leave the office premises in when the lease comes to an end.