Delivering Quality Legal Services since 1996

Delivering Quality Legal Services since 1986

Steps to take before Signing a Commercial Lease

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It can be tempting to go ahead a sign a lease as soon as you have found what you believe to be the perfect property for your business. However, it is important that you take a step back and do the necessary due diligence before signing. Just as you will have paid attention to location, there will also be other areas that need the same consideration, we will have a look at some of those below.

Heads of Terms

The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at your heads of terms. These set out all the conditions that will be included in the lease. This document is much shorter than the lease itself and will outline all key terms. It will tell you all the responsibilities of a tenant, and important information regarding this such as rent, like whom to pay and when a rent review will be due.


It is also important to properly check the condition of the property. Whether just by personal inspection or by a professional survey as well, you can deduce whether anything in the property needs to be fixed or redecorated. It is possible to negotiate with the landlord to see if these things can be done before you take possession. It is also useful to know these things in relation to your repair and maintenance covenants as a tenant as it is important to be aware from the get-go who will be responsible for these.

Service Charge

If there is a service charge, make sure to discuss with your landlord what exactly will be covered by that service charge and what will not be covered. It is best to avoid any ambiguity regarding this as you don’t want any unexpected expenses or issues to pop up down the line. You should also keep this in mind when drawing up a budget.

Use Class, Licences, and permissions

You need to be aware of what exactly you are permitted to do on the premises. Knowing the use class for the property will help you determine whether your business is a good fit for the premises. You will also want to check what licences and permissions you might need for the type of business you intend to run. There may be some restrictions in place such as what you can sell and permitted opening and delivery hours.

Exit options

You should always ensure that there are exit options available even if you don’t believe you will need them. Circumstances can always change, and you may find for whatever reason you need to relocate in the future. The type of exit options ranges from assignment and subletting to surrender and break clauses and it is practical to have at the very least one of these options in your lease.

If you agreed to a green lease, you would be incorporating clauses to encourage sustainable occupation and operation of the property. An example of this could be the obligation to try to implement more energy or water efficiency measures. Recently, more businesses and developers have been encouraged to enter into these types of leases.

Please note that this blog is not intended to be legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and as general guidance. Is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied on for, legal or tax advice. You should consult your own advisors or seek professional independent advice before engaging in any transaction.

If you are looking at renting a property and require assistance it reviewing your own lease then call us today, on 0121 268 3208 or send us an email at with your query and we will get back to you.


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