Written by Richard Farnworth

Leasing a commercial property can be incredibly risky for a landlord if they don’t seek the right advice from a specialist solicitor.

If a tenant fails to maintain the property, makes alterations without your consent or wants to allow someone else into occupation, it can cause huge problems if the right clauses haven’t been included in the lease agreement.

How landlords can put the right commercial lease agreement in place

Here, the dedicated solicitors at Commercial Matters take a look at some of the top tips for commercial landlords when leasing a property.

Get expert advice early

It is vital to seek specialist legal advice before any agreements are made. Too often lease terms are agreed before a specialist solicitor is consulted and it can be incredibly difficult to renegotiate terms which have already been agreed.

By speaking to a commercial property expert as soon as possible during negotiations, you will be able to ensure any lease protects your interests.

Research your prospective tenant

A vital step to take when leasing a commercial property is to learn as much as you can about a prospective tenant by carrying out business background checks.

This can include asking for reference from any previous landlords, a bank reference or checking who the directors and shareholders are if it is a Limited Company. If it is a new company you may consider taking a rent deposit or asking a director to act as guarantor.

Make maintenance issues clear

Disagreements over the maintenance of a property are the cause of many disputes between commercial landlords and tenants.

To avoid this, make sure the tenants responsibilities with respect to maintenance are clearly stated in the lease agreement. This can include terms for repairs, keeping the property clean and the tenant’s duty to pay for any damage caused to the property by neglect or abuse.

Avoid service charge disputes

Service charges levied by a landlord for the upkeep of the common parts is another common area which can affect the landlord-tenant relationship.

The lease must be clear with respect to any expenditure covered by a service charge. The tenant will only be required to pay for exactly what is specified in the lease which should also set out what the tenant’s share is and the landlord’s obligations.

Consider break clauses

It is always important to consider what will happen if you or the tenant wish to end the lease early.

Break clauses can be used to allow either party flexibility and will specify how notice must be given by either party and outline the conditions which have to be met when serving notice.

Talk to the experienced commercial property solicitors at Commercial Matters

Here at Commercial Matters, our experienced solicitors regularly advise landlords on their lease agreements to protect their interests and reduce the chance of lengthy disputes further down the line.

If you’d like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors to find out how they can help you, call us now on 01282 695 400.

Or, if you can’t talk to us right now, you can arrange a call back with a member of our team by completing our online contact form here.