Commercial landlords in England and Wales are increasingly adopting ‘green’ solutions to their property development and management practices. 

This is partly due to legislative change, such as the introduction of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which came into force in April 2018 and required commercial landlords to abide by minimum requirements for energy performance certificates (EPC) in business premises. 

Under current MEES requirements, landlords of commercial properties in England and Wales are prohibited from granting a new lease unless the property has an EPC rating of E or higher (except where certain exemptions apply). 

Many forward-thinking commercial landlords are also embracing environmentally friendly products and solutions, with green leases, in particular, gaining in popularity. 

In this blog, our Commercial Property Lease solicitors consider some advantages of green leases for commercial landlords. 

What are green leases? 

A commercial property lease is a legal agreement in which rent is paid from a tenant to a landlord to use land or a building for business purposes for an agreed period. A lease can be granted for a particular floor in a building or the building in its entirety. 

A green commercial property lease serves the same purpose. However, a green lease contains a series of additional clauses that impose obligations on the landlord and tenant to help manage and improve the environmental and social performance of a building. 

What sort of clauses are included in a green lease? 

Green leases incorporate provisions for the landlord and the tenant to undertake specific obligations to minimise carbon emissions arising from a property’s sustainable development, operation, and occupation. 

‘Soft’ green pledges can be as simple as requiring a tenant to turn off the lights at the end of every working day or asking a company to ‘go paperless’. 

Green lease provisions can relate to various aspects of a building’s usage, including: 

  • Energy efficiency measures, including a commitment to a certain EPC rating.  
  • Targets for energy and water consumption. 
  • Waste reduction and recycling. 
  • Data sharing, for example utilities consumption. 
  • Methods of travel to and from the buildings. 
  • Materials used in the fit-out and any refurbishment to the property. 

Why are green leases important? 

Commercial buildings make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.  

Property agent Savills states that real estate is currently responsible for 40% of global annual CO2 emissions and 40% of natural resource use.  

Offices and other commercial properties that are being built today can address these issues at the point of construction.  

However, if redevelopment continues at the same rate, 80% of buildings standing today will still be in use in 50 years. This means that much existing commercial property stock needs to be made more energy efficient retrospectively. 

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has urged parties to include green clauses in commercial property leases. Solicitors are also encouraged to discuss with clients whether to include green provisions in leases we produce and negotiate.  

Green clauses are not limited to new or renewed leases. Where a lease is already in place, parties can enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which provides a roadmap for co-operation between the parties to increase the sustainability of the property. 

If you are a commercial landlord and would like to include a green clause in a new or existing lease with a tenant, Beverley Morris & Co. Solicitors can help. To speak to our Commercial Property team today, call 020 8852 4433 or email  

What are some of the benefits of green leases for commercial landlords? 

Green leases offer numerous advantages to both landlords and tenants.  

Some of the benefits of green provisions in commercial real estate leases for commercial landlords include: 

  • Protecting the long-term value of the property. 
  • Future-proofing buildings against anticipated regulatory changes. 
  • Helping buildings adhere to expected disclosure standards. 
  • Assisting in following clients’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) or net zero strategies. 
  • Responding to tenant and investor demand for sustainable buildings. 
  • Protecting or improving asset capital and rental value. 
  • Encouraging mutually beneficial behaviours with tenants. 
  • Incentivising tenants to use the property efficiently. 
  • Enhancing corporate brand and image. 

Commercial Property Solicitor Blackheath 

At Beverley Morris & Co. Solicitors, we deal with various matters involving commercial property, including green leases. 

Our experience extends to all types of commercial buildings and premises used for various purposes. We have successfully handled commercial leases for shops and offices, cafeterias, restaurants and takeaways, and industrial buildings such as light industrial units. 

Our specialist commercial lease solicitors represent both landlords and tenants and can advise on all matters relating to commercial property leases, including: 

  • Negotiating lease terms of a new lease and lease renewals. 
  • Memorandum of rent reviews. 
  • Deed of variation of a commercial lease. 
  • Assignment. 
  • Business sale. 
  • Break clauses in a commercial property lease. 
  • Commercial sub-lease agreements. 
  • Property searches. 
  • Stamp Duty Land tax and Land Registry formalities. 

If you need advice on any issues relating to commercial property leases, our specialist and friendly solicitors at Beverley Morris & Co. can help. We will advise you on the best course of action for your situation and help and support you at every stage. 

To speak to our Commercial Property team today, call 020 8852 4433 or email