When occupying a commercial property, whether as a landlord or tenant, several legal considerations must be made. In this article, the commercial property solicitors at Beverley Morris & Co. answer some frequently asked questions on this topic.

Does a commercial lease need to be registered?

All new leases granted on or after 13th October 2003 for a term of more than seven years are compulsorily registrable at HM Land Registry. However, some leases cannot be registered, for example, new leases for a term of three years or less (and which are not otherwise required to be registered). Read the government’s guide on when to register leases here.

Is it possible to get out of a lease?

A lease may be terminated for a number of reasons. These might include:-

  • By agreement of the involved parties.
  • By effluxion of time.
  • By the valid exercise of a break clause in the lease.
  • By forfeiture.
  • By order of the Court.

As an alternative, a tenant might consider trying to assign the lease to someone else or sub-letting the premises with the permission of the landlord. It is essential to seek the appropriate advice when seeking to do so to ensure that you are aware of any potential pitfalls or obligations.

Can you change the use of a commercial property?

Usually, the permitted use of a commercial property is set out in the lease, and the landlord’s permission will be required to change it, which may or may not be granted, or it may be granted subject to the payment of a premium. A further consideration is that planning permission may be required to change the use of a commercial property. Uses are separated into ‘Use Classes’, and Local Authority permission is required when changing from one Use Class to another. Find out when permission is needed here.

What terms are important to consider in a lease agreement?

Key terms in a lease include the term (i.e. the duration of the lease), whether there is any security of tenure (i.e. whether you will be allowed to renew the lease at the end of the term), what flexibility there may be to vacate the premises before the lease comes to an end, the expenditure involved, such as the rent, business rates and any service charge, who bears responsibility for repairs and maintenance, what restrictions there are on making alterations to the premises and what type of business the premises may be used for.

Do I have to pay Stamp Duty on a commercial lease?

Depending on the level of rent and lease length, you will likely be liable to pay Stamp Duty on your commercial property.

Find out exactly how much you are liable to pay here.

Commercial Property Solicitors Blackheath

A commercial property may be required for various purposes, whether as somewhere from which to run your business, as an investment to let to an occupying business, or as residential property from which you will receive a rental income.

Our commercial property solicitors at Beverley Morris & Co. can assist you whether you are a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant.

We understand that your commercial property is typically the most valuable asset on your balance sheet. Our solicitors will offer their wealth of experience, industry knowledge and specialist advice to ensure that you fully understand your obligations and can fulfil them to the best of your ability, leading to an efficient and seamless transaction.

To speak to us today, please call 020 8852 4433 or email enquiries@beverleymorris.co.uk.

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