When running your own business, there are so many factors to attend to. If you are a sole trader or small firm, as well as being the creative force behind the company, you’re also the finance officer, marketing department and legal adviser all rolled into one.
With this kind of pressure, it’s no wonder entrepreneurs can make a crucial mistake that seriously affects their business. If you are looking to rent a new work space, for example, you may opt to negotiate the lease yourself. There’s no reason in law why you can’t do this. But, here at Saracens Solicitors, we would advise against it. And it’s not just because, as a commercial lease solicitor in London this is our work. It’s because we’ve seen many a good business fall down on a badly negotiated lease.
It’s easy to see why: commercial leases can be long and complex. Only someone with legal training and experience such as a commercial lease solicitor in London can pick their way through all the ramifications and make sure your interests are thoroughly protected.
Here are a few of the most important factors to look out for when entering into a lease:
- Terms – do you have the option to leave early if your business needs require it, or will this incur a penalty?
- Renewal – will you be asked if you want to continue at the end of your term, or could you see your business kicked out the building?
- Rent – is this fixed for the term of the contract, or will it be reviewed at specified intervals?
- Service Charges – if your building part is of a block, find out how much you will be asked to contribute towards the maintenance of communal facilities such as reception, bathrooms and gardens
- Repairs – make sure it is clearly stated what you are responsible for and what your landlord will attend to, and also check how you need to leave the building at the end of tenancy
- Structure – are you allowed to change the internal or external structure of your premises if your business needs call for it, or does it need to be kept in the same state as when you arrived?