In a typical commercial transaction, the seller’s solicitors will draw upon a contract for the sale of a commercial property, whether it is for the sale of their freehold interest or the grant of a new lease.

If you are a prospective business tenant or buyer, it is always recommended that you instruct a trustworthy and reliable commercial property solicitor to advise you on the terms being proposed and to ensure that the contract or lease does not contain any onerous terms, as well as to assist you with post-completion formalities at the HM Land Registry and Inland Revenue. More importantly, the due diligence process is an integral part of your commercial transaction for reasons as explained in this article.

Buying a Commercial Lease

Modern leases are typically drawn up on a full repairing and insuring basis. This means that the obligation to repair and maintain the part of the building being leased to you falls upon your shoulder. Depending on the specific definitions in a lease, this responsibility may extend to parts of the building, including the structure and roof where you are liable for repairs and contributions and which is beyond the property demise. The consequence of such provisions could be impactful. In that regard, you should assess the annual rent which should reflect the state of repair of the building.

If you are a small start-up and proposing to take a short-term lease of five to seven years with or without an option to ‘break’ the lease, we would emphasise the importance of ensuring that you are satisfied as to the state of repair of the building. Even though the lease will be short-term, it will incorporate provisions concerning maintenance and repairs for which you will be liable as above, and depending on the age of the building, it could be expensive. In that regard, we would recommend conducting a commercial survey beforehand.

However, as well as the proposed terms of the lease, there are pertinent questions that may arise during a commercial transaction, such as results revealed from commercial property searches that may be alarming to your proposed use both from a practical and planning point of view.  You should also consider the identity of the landlord or the person you are liaising with. Do they have legal standing in the property? Are they an offshore company? Should the sale be classified as a transfer of a business as a going concern (TOGC)?

At Beverley Morris & Co., we raise appropriate due diligence enquiries to ensure you do not find yourself in a muddle down the road and that your business venture is not adversely affected in the years to come.

If you are buying the freehold interest or a long leasehold interest in a new-build property, we will advise you accordingly to ensure that there are no conditions that would detract a buyer should you, one day, come to sell the property at a future date.

Get in touch today on 020 8852 4433 or email to find out more.

Granting a Lease or Selling Your Commercial Property

Whether you are the freehold owner or the owner of an existing lease, instructing a commercial property solicitor is vital so that your solicitor can work out exactly what is involved from a legal point of view. This is particularly so since you will have the duty to provide an adequate contract/lease that correctly reflects the building as a whole.

You may be granting a lease of a part of the building or the ground floor shop premises, or you may be selling your existing Lease, or your freehold interest. Whatever it is, we will make your sale process seamless and accurate, and, more importantly, stress-free.

Parallel to a commercial purchase, as the landlord/seller, you may be asked by the tenant’s/buyer’s solicitors to complete commercial property standard enquiry forms. The relevant form will depend on the nature of your proposed sale (i.e., grant of lease; assignment of lease; sale of freehold). These forms are updated regularly to reflect ever-changing rules and regulations. In that regard, we will assist you in your answers to ensure that you are not unintentionally putting forward any misrepresentations as the seller/landlord.

If you are granting a lease to a prospective tenant, we will incorporate provisions to protect you in the event of default by the new tenant. We will obtain supporting references from your prospective tenant (and guarantor) to ensure they will be a responsible and satisfactory lessee so far as the rental and money-laundering regulations are concerned.

In preparing the draft lease, it will be necessary to consider the tenant’s proposed use of the property and since modern Use Classes are variably wide and we recommend limiting the permitted use to the specific use proposed by the tenant.

If you are selling your existing lease, it will be necessary to approach your landlord, as you will require their consent for the assignment of your lease. In that regard, we will ensure that the sale of your lease is concurrent with the sale of your business, should that be the case.

Conveyancing Solicitor Blackheath

At Beverley Morris & Co., based in Blackheath, south east London, we understand that your business venture is as important as your legal paperwork, and we strive to ensure that your legal papers are in place to keep up with ever-changing rules and regulations.

Whether you are looking for a place for your café, restaurant, retail store or office, whatever your personal circumstances, we are here to help.

We pride ourselves in acting, at all times, in the best interests of our clients so that they do not find themselves in a muddle down the road. After all, any future problems arising out of you and your Landlord/Tenant will depend much on the terms of the contract or lease you are entering into.

To find out more, call us today on 020 8852 4433, or email

Alternatively, please fill in this contact form, and we will get back to you.



Wing Shuen Ng – Trainee Solicitor