Your Five Tips
1. Find out if you are signing a Business Lease or a Licence.So many people use the phrases as if they are the same thing. A business lease gives you various legal rights .A licence is just an agreement between you and the Landlord rather like staying in a hotel.
2. Do not think the most important thing is to sign the Business Lease and get into the property. Signing a Business Lease is like buying a house . For the latter you go through many set stages but people sign Business Leases as if they are buying new shoes. Actually with a commercial lease it is more important to be careful and check everything out as if there is a major problem it will affect your livelihood whereas with a house you will at least have the income to live somewhere else.
3. Make sure you know the area of land/building your Business Lease covers. This may seem obvious but often ignored. Do not assume that what you see is what you will get. Make sure the Business Lease has a plan and you check it against what is on the ground. If it is registered look at the Registered title plan. If it is not registered and the Business Lease has no plan ask for one. Then check it . I recently came across a solicitor who was trying to lease the shop next door to my client according to the plan he had supplied.
4. Think about where your customers will park. If there is land outside do not just assume your customers can park there. It may belong to next door who may ask your customers to move. Not nice and your customers may not come back. Check the Business Lease. Ask questions. If you are told it is OK to park there ask for it to go in the Lease. Be careful about and do not trust what people say if they are not prepared to commit it to writing.
5. The potential killer – repairs. A commercial property is not like a private rental where the landlord is responsible for repairs. Under a standard business lease the Landlord will be responsible for the structure and you the rest. Also unlike a private rental when if you leave it as it is subject to fair wear and tear. You normally have to leave the property at the end of the tenancy in good repair. This means that if you take on a property in a mess you are responsible for putting it right.Beware of the landlord who says it does not matter- he will have changed his mind by the end,