When you’re about to sign a lease it’s highly recommended that you read through the commercial agreement thoroughly and carefully.
If there is anything you’re even slightly unsure of, it’s always worth talking to a lawyer or an impartial person who is well-informed of such proceedings to clarify anything.
Go on a walk-through of the property
Before signing the lease, it’s highly advisable to go on a “walk-through” of the property.
Whilst walking through the property look closely for any damage. Are there cracks in the ceiling? Signs of rising damp? Problems with the guttering to the outside?
If you spot any existing damage, take a photographic record of it so that you won’t run the risk of being accused of causing the damage, should you vacate the property.
Ask for any repairs to be made before you move in
Generally, any repairs the property may require should be made well before you move in and prior to signing the lease.
If the property requires some upgrades after you move into the property, then make sure this is fully detailed in the lease, along with completion dates.
If you had to close your business due to unfulfilled repairs not being made on time you’d lose out on a significant amount of money.
Lease conditions and stipulations checklist
After successfully negotiating the lease and are happy to sign it, don’t be afraid to reread the document again fully, and make sure you fully understand each word.
Use the following checklist to ensure all points are covered in your commercial lease:
– Name of landlord, their contact details of the name of the company that is representing the landlord. Depending on who you make the agreement with affects your legal rights should any problems arise.
– Your name or the company leasing the space. If you’re taking out the lease in your name, you’ll be responsible for the terms of the lease.
– The duration of the lease and start date. Avoid signing a five-year lease if at all possible.
– The deposit amount required by the lease and if it’s refundable. Are you eligible to pay for painting or cleaning fees when you leave the property? If so, how much?
– Monthly rent, what does it cover, how much will you pay and what doesn’t it cover?
– Additional fees you may have to pay. Fees such as percentage of profits, carpark maintenance and anything else you may have to pay on top of the rent per month.
– When is the rent due and how can it be paid (e.g. postal address or in person)?
– Are there any late fees (how much and when are they incurred)?
– What insurance are you required to have at the lease signing and for the duration of the lease?
– Will there be anyone else aside from you who has the right to access your property without your consent? And if so, what are the circumstances of this?
– Unless your lease specifically states that you can sublease or share the space with another business, assume you cannot. If you require a sublet it must be clarified in your lease, giving you the right.
– How much will your rent increase if you choose to renew and will you be required to sign another lease for a certain period of time?
– If you plan to do any repairs or upgrades to the property make sure it’s clearly stated in the lease. Some landlords will give you credit for such work made on the space, but this work must be approved beforehand. Some landlords will not let you do any work on the property unless you use the landlord’s contractors of choice.
– Ensure that any promises by the landlord are written into the actual lease. Proving lease terms on a verbal agreement are nigh on impossible.
– Make sure any other terms you’ve demanded from the landlord are part of the final lease agreement before signing.
Restaurant Property agents are hospitality and leisure property experts with access to a wide range of property in London and the UK.
From working with some of the country’s biggest chains through to industry-leading individuals, Restaurant Property are well tried and tested in the work of commercial leases, making them the ideal people to help with your next property venture.< Back