At GKN Law Firm we can help you with retail and commercial leases in a number of capacities – whether you’re a tenant or a landlord. It is always important to seek legal advice from an experienced solicitor before entering into a lease.
We can assist you with:
- Drafting and reviewing retail and commercial leases
- Negotiating the terms of the lease (including rent, transfer options, duration, exit and renewal options)
- Subletting of premises
- Possible dispute resolution
What is a Commercial Lease?
A commercial lease is a legally binding agreement between a business owner and the owner of the real estate property. It is a good deal more complicated than a residential lease, mainly because it is heavily customised to the individual situation. The lease terms and conditions must be carefully read to ensure that they match the needs of your business. Any mistakes could have a negative impact on your new business – both in the short-term and the long-term.
Can I negotiate the terms?
Yes, lease terms are often negotiable. The specific terms or restrictions which may be up for negotiation include the rent amount, rent increases, the duration of the lease, the modifications you can make to the premises and whether you can transfer or assign the lease.
What else should I look for?
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing your specific situation and your business needs.
Some of the common things we find we need to discuss with our clients include:
- If you’re a new business, checking that the length of the lease is suitable to you. Many landlords prefer to secure a longer lease, which may not always be the most suitable option for you.
- There are several ways to calculate rental increases. Make sure that you understand and agree to the one chosen by your landlord.
- Read the section on improvements very carefully – it should set out who can make changes to the premises, who pays for the modifications and whether the premises will need to be restored to their original condition at the end of the lease.
- Make sure that the lease includes all of the areas you expect to have the right to use – including bathrooms, parking areas and common areas.
- Be careful that the lease doesn’t stop you from erecting signs in certain areas.
We suggest that you always seek legal advice before you make any commitments – including signing an offer, paying a deposit or moving anything you own into the premises.
What if I am in a dispute with my landlord?
If you have a dispute with your landlord, you firstly need to read your lease documents carefully and make sure that you completely understand the legal terms and conditions of the lease.
Secondly, you then need to make sure that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, and those of your landlord.
Then, consider the options – which may include negotiation, mediation and court action.
Contact us for legal advice specific to your lease agreement from one of our experienced lease solicitors.
GKN Law Firm was and is able to perform and act under pressure. We were very pleased and overwhelmed as to how Grace was on track with the follow-ups. Constant updates as to where we were within the cycle and the time-frame given for the settlement. Grace kept us in the loop all the time. Many thanks.
– S. Tas