Do I Need a Solicitor for a Commercial Lease?

When entering into a commercial lease agreement, either as a landlord, or a tenant, it is important to instruct an experienced and trustworthy solicitor to guide you through the minefield of complex issues and obstacles that can arise.

‘Who Pays for a Commercial Lease To Be Drawn Up?’

You may have cause to wonder who is responsible for paying for the contract to be drawn up. Surprisingly there is no standardised procedure when it comes to leasing commercial space. However, it is usually the tenant who covers the cost regarding the lease document and requests the terms. Having said that, both parties should have legal representation and the particularities of the contract can be negotiated by their legal teams. One question that both landlords and tenants often overlook is:

‘What happens when my Commercial Lease expires?’

This will depend on the agreement signed at the beginning of the tenancy. Unless stipulated otherwise, the leaseholder will be entitled to renew the lease at the end of the term. Tenants are usually required to redecorate the property when necessary and towards the end of a tenancy. Simple right? Well you may not know that under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 the landlord could serve notice on the tenant at the end of the term and has reasonable grounds to deny the renewal of the term if they can prove imminent redevelopment of the property, or that it is needed for their own occupation. Not everyone has automatic renewal rights.

‘Do I really need a solicitor for commercial leases?’

Well, it’s up to you. But a lot can go wrong if you don’t know the details of a commercial lease and the relevant laws….

For example; if section 24 to 28 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 has been excluded from the lease, then the tenant does not have security of tenure and must vacate the property at the end of the term- this is a detail that many may miss.

A conscientious and trustworthy firm of solicitors will make sure that you know what you are getting into. For instance, some contracts are drawn up to contain a break clause. This means that the lease can be terminated before the end date. A break clause is an agreed specific date where the lease can be discontinued. A tenant must usually give six months notice to this effect prior to any break date stipulated in the lease.

Our Advice

It is important to instruct a solicitor to manage your contract, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, as a legal document is likely to be written using archaic and specialist terms. The exact ramifications of what you are signing up for may not be readily apparent, ad therefore, a commercial lease specialist should guide you through this complex and potentially daunting area of business to ensure the best deal.

Contact us for advice for your commercial lease requirements and see how we can help you.