Under commercial lease law, both landlords and tenants have a duty to keep business premises safe and well-maintained. However, the extent of this obligation can differ significantly from contract to contract.
If you are unsure about your responsibilities to the property you are renting as a commercial lease tenant, or you simply want to be aware of these responsibilities before you commit to a specific property, Saracens Solicitors, your commercial lease solicitor in London, is here to guide you through the process.
We are committed to helping you sign a contract with the best possible terms we can achieve. For this reason, we advise our clients against signing if they cannot understand the specifics of the contract, since this can cause them legal and financial troubles.
Types of leases
Commercial leases are usually prepared by the landlord and as such they tend to favour the landlord. In some cases, your commercial solicitor in London can help you achieve better terms, yet this depends on many factors including the landlord himself.
Tenants can choose if they will be responsible for part of or all of the utility bills, repairs, property tax and maintenance (net leases), or if these are going to be the responsibilities of the landlord (gross leases). Net leases are more popular since they are more flexible.
Finally, percentage leases require the payment of a base amount to the landlord as well as a percentage of revenue.
Avoiding disputes and conflict
In order to avoid disputes and conflict with your landlord, it is essential to designate each party’s responsibilities as clearly as possible in the contract, especially when maintenance and repairs are concerned.
For instance, if you cannot agree whether fixing damage to the property should be considered as ‘repair’ or ‘maintenance’, your commercial solicitor in London can help. Both parties can avoid dispute by undertaking an inspection of the property prior to the finalisation of the lease.
Unfortunately, the law is not always clear when it comes to repairs and maintenance of commercial properties, therefore you should ensure that you receive updated legal advice from your commercial solicitor in London.