Checklist: arranging a lease

Leasing can be a complex business and once you have made your leasing bed you have to lie in it so it's imperative that you get the details right from the outset.

Here’s a useful checklist to help you arrange your lease correctly:

  • can the premises be used for the type of business you have in mind?
  • how long is the lease? Commonly, it is between three and 20 years
  • will you have the right to get a new lease when this one runs out?
  • are the premises listed? This can restrict the way you adapt and extend them to suit your business needs
  • are there rent reviews and when are they?
  • can you sublet part or all of the premises?
  • who is responsible for the repairs and the insurance?
  • is the lease actually owned by the person trying to sell it?
  • are the premises likely to be affected by any road or town improvements or alterations?
  • who is paying for the landlord’s legal costs? It is general practice for you to pay them, but it is always subject to negotiation. At any rate, agree beforehand that you will only pay a reasonable amount
  • is it possible to rent the premises on a weekly agreement, rather than sign a long lease? This gives you flexibility, but you lose security. An informal arrangement like this may be possible at times when there is a glut of vacant property
  • does the landlord want you to give a personal guarantee? Your solicitor should spell out to you the implications of doing so and help you to negotiate to try to avoid this.

Related Topics

Negotiating lease

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