We act for a lot of first time tenants and often find the same issues arising when advising on the lease terms. If you are a tenant looking to take on leasehold premises then try and get these points sorted out while you are negotiating the deal.
Important Tenancy Tips
The 7 key points to agree are:
1. Repairs to the premises – most landlords will ask you to keep the property in “full repair”. If the property is not in a good state of repair when you take it, you will then have to put it into repair, at your own cost. This can be very expensive. You can agree to reduce this obligation to keeping it in no better state of repair than it is in at the start of the lease.
2. Break clauses – many tenants negotiate these into the lease but beware conditions that landlords often attach to them. You need to make sure you can comply with them. We would suggest that the most you agree to is full payment of the yearly rent up to the break date.
3. Service charge – tenants are often unaware of this additional, variable yearly charge. Try to agree a cap on this so you can budget for it.
4. Rights to renew the lease– business tenants have automatic, statutory rights to request a new lease at the end of the term. Some landlords seek to exclude this right so watch out for this.
5. Rent free periods – ask for one if you need to spend some time fitting out the property when you move in before you can start trading.
6. Landlord’s costs – you will often be asked to pay these. You do not have to – resist this!
7. VAT – check if the landlord is VAT registered – if so, you will have to pay this on top of the rents.
If you would like help agreeing these issues with the landlord then talk to our team of commercial property law solicitors in Brighton and Sussex. Usually the earlier we are involved the easier it is to sort them out. Call today on 01273 604123.