Many small and medium businesses are reporting business confidence and with it, a demand to relocate to larger premises is growing within Jersey.
While the astute entrepreneur or director is always wary in his or her business dealings to ensure that the product or service is best dealt with, there are a minority that do not devote the same amount of time and reflection to the matter of commercial premises. The focus being on price per square footage, not necessarily as to other factors which could have a significant impact in the future on your business.
It is generally a false economy not to engage an appropriate team of professionals to assist you. The old adage that you ‘don’t know what you don’t know’ comes to mind and is apt in this scenario. A commercial lease is not an insignificant venture and as such a number of issues legal and otherwise need consideration.
You want the new premises to work for your business and you need to have your eyes wide open when signing on the dotted line. Here are a few fundamental points to consider, (this list is not exhaustive):
Heads of terms
Always agree fundamental terms in principle so that when you instruct your lawyer they have a frame of reference within which to work to.
Use of Premises
You will need to ensure that the lease allows you to use the premises for your intended purpose. Although this sounds simple enough it is an easy trap to fall into, especially if your plan is to alter or add a different arm at a later stage.
For example the use defined may be for a restaurant however if at a later stage you want to include a takeaway service you would need to check if there is an allowance in place for an off-premises consumption.
Altering the lease at a later stage could become costly and in the event the alteration of use is not granted your business to could lose a stream of income.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that the stated use of the premises is comprehensive.
Length of Lease
SME’s should be cautious when determining the length of the lease. If your business performs better than expected you may need to move premises. What happens if you don’t have any mechanism to sublet or assign the lease. Do you want to consider a break clause? Will this increase the rental Locking yourself into a long term lease could prove difficult and expensive to terminate, if indeed you can.
Limiting dilapidations and repair liability
Dilapidation -disrepair of the property.
This is generally one area that tenants do not fully consider. When moving into your new premises the last thing on your mind is what will happen at the end of your tenancy. Depending upon your obligations you could find yourself paying a significant chunk of your hard earned profit to repair the premises. It is always advisable to employ an appropriate professional to review the condition and negotiate appropriate wording to protect you should there be issues as to condition. This may prevent potential costly disputes at the end of the tenancy.
Overall, the advice is be wary about entering into a commercial lease without at least obtaining some general legal advice as to the implications. It could save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
How Parslows can help
Parslows commercial property team provide an exceptional service to all our clients, whether you are a first time buyer or some way up the property ladder.
Our conveyancers and property lawyers are focused on providing you with expert advice with a truly personal service.
We advise on all aspects of property law: whether it be advice on financing, off plan and building contracts or option agreements, landlord and tenant advice or regulatory advice we can assist.
Our clients are pleased with our service and fees, we are confident you will too.
For further information or a fixed fee for your conveyancing work please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 630530;
The information and opinion expressed in this briefing does not purport to be definitive or comprehensive and are not intended to provide professional advice. For specific advice, please contact Parslows, We are not responsible for, and do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with, the content of this document or any reliance upon it