Considerations when leasing a commercial property – In a nutshell, expert advice from Roger Squire MRICS
Having found the right building, it’s also important to ensure you comply with the covenants in the lease. You need to understand what the real condition of the property is before moving in.
Do you need a full building survey, or will a simple condition report suffice?
In understanding the properties condition, it’s important to know how the repairing clauses in the proposed lease will affect you during and at the end of the contract period, or how much you are likely to contribute towards the service charge for the buildings common parts.
A schedule of condition documents the property at lease commencement and helps to limit responsibility which might otherwise improve the premises for your Landlord. If the Landlord is happy to incorporate a schedule into the agreement, it is very likely this will reduce your exposure to potential repair costs at the end of the term.
Having a survey carried out will also identify whether the lease plan attached to the agreement is correct. It is not unusual a plan highlights the wrong position of boundaries or contains a poor description of the property. Plans assessed before agreement is made, could save long and expensive arguments later on.
So what about the future? A short-term lease up to 5 years does not necessarily provide certainty than the need to find new premises or renegotiate existing terms within a short space of time.
A lease of 10 or more years has certainty, though it could also prohibit company growth or adapting to changes in the marketplace.
Whatever the size or type of property, surveyors understand risk associated with taking on a new lease. So make sure you have a chartered surveyor, as part of your professional team.