We can assist at different stages in the process from before you enter a Lease agreement through to the end of the Lease. Our professional expertise will ensure that you are informed about the technical aspects of the Lease and how this may impact on your business. We will work with your Solicitor to look after your interests.
Top tips when entering a Lease agreement.
- Choose a Solicitor experienced in property matters who has established relationships with Surveyors and other property professionals. He/she will provide sound advice to avoid potential pitfalls when entering a Lease Agreement.
- Consider the lease type being offered. These are usually one of the following:
- Full Repairing and Insuring (FRI) – as the name suggests the Tenant has full responsibility for repairing and insuring the Leased property.
- Internal Repairing (IR) – This usually applies where the Tenant leases a part of a building. They are responsible for the space that they occupy and will pay the Landlord a separate contribution (a ‘service charge’) towards the shared internal parts and external items such as the roof, windows etc.
- Check what your repairing, maintaining and renewal responsibilities will be under the Lease – not doing so can lead to you paying for expensive works that you may not have considered or budgeted for.
- Understand that you will have to carry out any work required under the Lease conditions that has not be completed during or at the end of the Lease. The alternative is to make a payment to the Landlord in exchange for not doing the work.
- Consider the condition of the existing property – for older properties it is best to have a detailed survey carried out to highlight any issues and avoid costly surprises. A Schedule of Condition records the condition of the property at the start of the Lease. This can take different forms dependant on Client requirements (see below).
- Keep your lease and survey documentation safe (preferably with duplicates in different places) – losing your documents weakens your negotiating position when the Lease ends.
Verbal Assessment Survey – some prospective Tenants looking at a number of potential properties for lease do not want to have detailed surveys carried out for properties which they may not progress to Lease. In some cases we can carry out a joint visit with the Client and give a brief verbal assessment based on what we see. If the Client decides they are interested in the property a more in depth survey can be arranged. Due to its nature this type of survey is invoiced on a time charge basis.
Condition Surveys and Schedules – Survey types range from elemental condition surveys giving an assessment of the main part (or ‘elements’) of the structure e.g. roof, walls, floors etc. to Schedules of Condition that can be used in negotiations and/or appended to the Lease document. Dependant on your requirements these may take different forms, the main ones being:
- A photographic document providing images showing general condition and notable defects
- A full schedule with text and photographs giving a condition assessment on a area by area basis
Repairing and Maintenance Liabilities – we can help organise your pre-planned and reactive maintenance works to comply with your obligations under the lease term. We produce clear professional specifications for contractors to price and apply in carrying out required repairs. We can also supervise site works to ensure they are carried out to a high standard. We would deal with any technical queries from the contractor and keep you informed as the works progressed.
Small Works Projects – we can assist with procurement and management of tenant additions and alteration works, dealing with Architect, Structural Engineers and the Landlord (or their Agent) and supervising the works.
Dilapidations and Reinstatement Works – as the end of the Lease approaches we can assess Schedules of Dilapidations (lists of making-good works required before Lease expiry) supplied by the Landlord or their Surveyor. Where appropriate we can negotiate financial settlements, or we can arrange and manage the works for the client.
We are happy to discuss your requirements before and during the Lease term and will advise on the best way to suit your needs.