Category Archives: Commercial Property

New Lease

Our commercial property specialists are delighted to offer fixed costs for landlords and tenants in respect of the granting of leases, giving you control over the level of service and the cost of the same.
  • New build arrangements, construction documents, warranties, and matters alike
  • Multiple property titles
  • Unregistered titles
  • Extra negotiations and advice beyond what is included within the packages
  • Title defects that require advice, insurance or other
  • Agreement for leases, licences for alterations, licences to underlet and, consents and alike
  •  This list is not exhaustive but covers many eventualities

We will as soon as we become aware of something that is not included within your chosen package, whether that is at the outset or during the transaction, make this immediately known  to you, so you can decide whether you wish to instruct us to cease acting, or proceed with or without assistance  upon those matters or otherwise. We will at such time provide you with an additional fee estimate for any extra work required. Please note that our fixed fees are payable whether or not your intended lease completes on the number of hours that you wish for us to perform in our duties.

New commercial lease

Our fee’s include:

  • New build arrangements, construction documents, warranties, and matters alike
  • Multiple property titles
  • Unregistered titles
  •  Negotiations and advice
  • Title defects that require advice, insurance or other
  • Agreement for leases, licences for alterations, licences to underlet and, consents and alike
  • obtaining your title deeds from you or your lender;
  • checking the deeds and preparing a draft Contract;
  • preparing replies to enquiries standard and specific enquiries;
  • agreeing on the terms of the Contract and Lease;
  • reporting to you with the Contract and Lease for signature;
  • preparing Completion Statements for your approval;
  • agreeing on necessary apportionments;
  • when everyone is ready and the completion date has been agreed, completing the transaction.

For Tenants

We can assist you with all aspects of taking a lease of a property, whether you are an experienced tenant or embarking on a new business venture. Our expert commercial property solicitors will give you clear, concise and practical advice tailored to suit you.

Our areas of expertise include the following:

  • Negotiating and advising on heads of terms
  • Drafting and negotiating new leases, renewal leases and agreements for lease
  • Negotiating licences for alterations including advice on reinstatement provisions
  • Making licence to assign applications including advice on the conditions a landlord may be able to attach to any consent
  • Advising on break clause issues
  • Advising on rent reviews, service charge and security of tenure issues
  • Advising on “green lease” clauses and The Green Deal
  • Advising on issues affecting the landlord’s title such as rights of light and covenants
  • Drafting and negotiating deeds of variation and surrenders of leases

For Landlords

Our solicitors have vast experience in dealing with letting all types of property from large industrial estates, shopping centres and prestigious office developments to high street retail premises, pubs and single office units.  Whatever your objective, we will work with you to achieve your goal.  Our skills include:

  • Advising on heads of terms
  • Drafting and negotiating new leases, renewal leases and agreements for lease
  • Drafting licences for alterations including advice on reinstatement provisions
  • Dealing with licence to assign applications including advice on the conditions you may be able to attach to any consent
  • Advising on break clause issues, rent reviews, service charge provisions and security of tenure
  • Advising on “green lease” clauses and The Green Deal

Buying and selling Restaurants and takeaway

If you’ve found a Restaurant or Takeaway, you want to buy or lease then you’re probably feeling quite impatient to get started. Unfortunately, you really do need to take the time to get some advice from a solicitor on buying a Restaurant or Takeawy business. You’re risking too much by simply signing on the dotted line. The good news is we’ll make the process quick and painless. Because we’re experts at buying and leasing Restaurants and Takeaways, we only stick to the essentials.

Sound legal advice on the law relating to leasing a Restaurant or Takeaway will save you time and money. Here are some typical important issues that always need to be considered when buying a cafe:

Advice On Permitted Use When Buying A Cafe

Pay close attention to exactly what you can and cannot do in the cafe. Do you plan to sell any food? If so, are we talking takeaways, proper sit down restaurant like meals, or simply a snack? Will you sell alcohol? Whatever you want to do in the Property, make sure your lease lets you do it and there is a planning consent in place.

Legal Advice On A Restaurant or Takeaway Sit Out Licence

Ask yourself; can my customers sit on the street outside my Restaurant? It is often crucial for  Restaurant customers to be able to sit out in the street. Does the lease provide you with the right to do so? If not, then you may need to approach the Council to arrange permission for this.

Advice On Restaurant or Takeaway Trading Hours Permitted By The Lease

Some landlords are keen to restrict trading hours to avoid upsetting neighbours or residential tenants in a development or simply because it makes management of the building/shopping centre easier. Running a Restaurant or Takeaway is very different from having a clothes shop or an office. Flexible hours can be crucial. It’s not unusual for Restaurant or Takeaway to be open all the hours, including weekends.

What Alterations Can I Make To The Restaurant or Takeaway Premises?

When our clients buy a Restaurant or Takeaway they will normally want to make some alterations to the place. These can range from serious fit out works involving the installation of a commercial kitchen with flues to simply putting up a neon sign outside. Whatever changes you’re planning, chances are you will need the landlord and/or the Council to approve some of them. It is vital to sort these issues out before signing the lease or contract. I believe sound legal advice on negotiating Restaurant or Takeaway lease terms is crucial.

Why Choose HS Legal Solicitors?

Solid Traditional Values Delivered
In A Modern Convenient Manner

Our firm has years of experience in buying and selling businesses across England and Wales. Benefit from competitive fixed fees, free advice and no hidden costs.

Our solicitors are very experienced having worked at the firm for an average of 9 years. For legal adivce Contact us on 01206500181.

Customer service is very important to us and takes customer satisfaction and the very rare complaints we have extremely seriously.

Rent review

Negotiation is always the best method of handling a rent review and one of the HS Legal solicitors team of experts will assist you in this process to ensure a positive outcome for your business. At HS Legal Solicitors we understand that solving this issue promptly is best for you and best for your business and will advise you of the best way of achieving a positive outcome.

What is rent review?

Rent reviews allow landlords of commercial property to periodically regulate the rent charged to tenants based on different factors.

As a landlord you will want to review the rents on your properties as set out in the lease. Doing so will increase your rental revenue and profitability.

As a tenant you will want to minimise your liability and so proper negotiation and representation at rent review will be important.

Why do commercial leases have rent review clauses?

Where market rent is payable, the landlord will want to ensure that it always receive the maximum possible rent for the site and not bound by the rent amount which was set at the start of the lease.

How can rent be reviewed?

There are various ways in which the rent can be reviewed:

  • the landlord and tenant might agree to increase the rent in fixed amounts each year
  • the landlord and tenant might assess the rent based on the tenant’s turnover at the premises
  • the rent is based on market values

The most common and typical type of rent review is the open market rent review.

How often do rent reviews occur?

Typically rent reviews occur every 3 – 5 years, depending on the length of the lease. A rent review clause in a commercial lease will dictate how often a rent review will occur, the method, procedure and how to treat disputes.

How is the value of the rent decided?

  • Open market rent review involves a periodic revaluation of the rent based on what the rent would be if the premises were re-let fresh at the date of review.
  • The new rental amount is based on rents in the local market for similar leases. If after the review, it’s found that the rents in the local area have increased then the rent for the premises can be increased.

In most situations, the landlord and tenant should try and agree to the new rent themselves.

Normally, both parties appoint their own property surveyors to help manage the process and negotiations.

Rent reviews in commercial leases are complex and should be carefully considered and negotiated. If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice on rent reviews, then please contact on 01206500181.

Licence for Alterations

A commercial lease often imposes restrictions on the alterations that can be made to premises. A Licence for Alterations is necessary to ensure that the premises are reinstated to the original configuration on expiry of the lease.

What is a Licence for Alterations?

Often in Commercial Property a tenant may require certain alterations to the property they occupy under a lease. To carry out these alterations, the tenant will likely need the consent of the landlord. This consent will come in the form of a document called a ‘Licence for Alterations’.

Why Alterations are required?

These alterations can be required for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • altering the structure to fit the tenant’s commercial needs,
  • installing new service installations
  • opening the layout of the property by removing walls
  • erecting walls or a partition to create offices or other smaller rooms within the property

Whether or not a Licence for Alterations is necessary will depend on how much work the tenant is proposing to carry out to the property, as well as what the lease itself states.

Why a Licence for Alterations is important for Tenant?

A Licence for Alterations is important to the tenant for a number of reasons,

  • to ensure they comply with the terms of their lease
  • To avoid breaching the lease and facing enforcement action
  • If a Licence for Alterations is not granted prior to the works being carried out and the tenant retrospectively seeks this, the landlord will be given a huge advantage in terms of negotiating power and the demands they can make for the Licence to be given
  • Tenant seeking to assign a lease whereby unauthorised alterations have taken place may face difficulties in finding potential purchasers.

 

Why a Licence for Alterations is important for Landlord?

For the landlord, a Licence for Alterations is important to ensure that all works carried out to their property are accurately recorded. It is not uncommon for leases to contain a reinstatement clause – an obligation on the tenant to return the property to the condition it was in prior to the lease commencement, which can include an obligation to remove any fittings installed by the tenant during their occupation. While these works are typically carried out at the tenant’s own cost, it is important for the landlord to have a clear and detailed understanding of what is required to be removed.

How we can help?

We understand that it’s essential that the interests of both the landlord and the tenant are fully protected to prevent future disputes resulting from the alterations. Whether you’re a commercial landlord or tenant, HS Legal Solicitors can act on your behalf, dealing with all the necessary paperwork to achieve a positive outcome for all parties. If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice related to licence for alteration, then please contact on 01206500181.

Lease drafting and acquisition/assignment of a lease

One of our expert team members can help you with the assignment of lease and acquisition of existing leasehold premises or the drafting of a new lease.

Definition of “Assignment of Lease”

The Assignment of Lease is a process where all rights that a lessee or tenant possesses over a property are transferred to another party.

 

What is an Assignment of Lease?

If a tenant wants to get out of a lease that is not expired, one of the legal options is to assign or transfer the lease to somebody else. For example, if somebody signs a commercial lease for 12 months and the business stops working after 10 months, that person can still opt not to pay for the remaining 2 months by assigning the lease. The document attesting the transfer is called an “Assignment of Lease Agreement”.

 Are there any duties placed on the landlord when an assignment of lease is to take place?

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 provides for the following duties placed on the landlord when an assignment is to take place:

  • To give consent to an assignment, except where it is reasonable not to do so
  • To give consent without undue delay
  • If the landlord also requires the consent of a superior landlord, to take reasonable steps to secure consent without undue delay

 

What happens if the landlord and tenant cannot come to an agreement over the assignment of a lease?

In some scenarios, a tenant will feel that he can justify a claim for assignment of the lease and the landlord is unreasonably withholding consent. If this situation occurs the tenant has the option of simply carrying on the transaction for the assignment of the lease.

 

We understand that this can be a complicated process and will advise you on all issues, keeping you fully informed at all times throughout the process. If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice on the assignment of lease, then please contact on 01206500181.

Dealing with forfeiture for non-payment of rent or breach of tenants’ covenants

Forfeiture is a landlord’s right, in certain circumstances, to regain possession of the premises and bring the lease to an end. The right is set out in a clause of the lease. In fact, the right to forfeit must be expressly reserved in the lease.

What is forfeiture and when can it be used?

The ability to forfeit enables a landlord to re-enter their property following a breach by the tenant, and by doing so, terminate the lease. Depending upon the reason for forfeiture, termination can take place with immediate effect, or following a period of notice.

In order to be able to forfeit a lease, a landlord will firstly need to establish the basis of their right to do so. The most common way to do this is to rely on a specific clause in the lease which grants to the landlord the right to forfeit in certain circumstances.

It is also worth noting that, in certain situations, a landlord can exercise a right to forfeit in the absence of a specific clause in the lease. If the tenant has breached a condition of the lease then the right arises automatically.

Contact Us

Professional help is essential when dealing with forfeiture for non payment of rent or breach of tenants’ covenant. HS Legal Solicitors are fully aware that attention to detail is vital in these matters and one of our experienced team members will deal with your matter efficiently in order to secure a professional and timely outcome. For more details contact us on 01206500181.

 

Sale or purchase of commercial freehold property

 

If you are considering acquiring a freehold commercial property, HS Legal Solicitors will ensure that your matter is dealt with by an experienced property lawyer regardless of the nature or value of the transaction.

 

How we can help with your sale or purchase freehold commercial property?

 

Our commercial property team act for a broad range of companies and individuals in the United Kingdom, advising on all aspects of freehold commercial property. We understand that these types of transactions involve a number of legal as well as commercial issues. We will work with you throughout the transaction from negotiating the Head of Terms through to completion of the contract.

Purchase of a freehold commercial property

Individuals purchase commercial properties for many reasons including:
• To acquire the right to change the property to fit their business needs without having to obtain permission from a landlord
• To have complete, long-term security of tenure
• To be able to sub-let parts of the premises that are not being utilised
• As an investment

Selling a freehold commercial property

If you are planning to sell your freehold commercial property you will require sound, solid legal advice from the outset in order to see the sale run smoothly. Our commercial property lawyers will advise you on:

  • A well-drafted Head of Terms
    • Warranties and indemnities
    • Negotiations as to the purchase price and restrictive covenants
    • Your rights and obligations with regards to any existing tenants
    • Exchange of contracts and completion

Contact Us

We will ensure that your matter is efficiently dealt with by an experienced property advisor regardless of the nature or value of the transaction. We will make sure that full due diligence is carried out and guide you through the process swiftly. Our expert solicitors understand that these transactions involve both commercial and legal issues and will assist you throughout the transaction from negotiation through to completion. For more details contact us on 01206500181.

Rent deposits

When a tenant moves into a rental property, he or she will pay the landlord rent deposits in addition to first month’s rent. This deposit will be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease term, as long as the tenant follows all the terms of the lease agreement.

What is rent deposits?

Rent deposits are money provided by a tenant to its landlord as security for payment of the rent and performance of the tenant’s covenants contained in the lease. Rent deposits deed will specify the circumstances in which the landlord can draw on this money and the conditions that must be satisfied for the deposit to be repaid to the tenant.

Why Landlords like rent deposits?

Landlords like rent deposits because they are easily accessible sources of money that came be drawn upon as soon as the tenant is in breach of a relevant covenant in the lease. Court action is not required to recover the debt or enforce performance of the obligation. Tenants are not generally too keen on rent deposits as they lock up capital, often for a lengthy period.

When will a rent deposit be taken?

Rent deposits will be put in place on the grant of a lease or on the assignment of an existing lease. If the landlord does require a rent deposit it will usually be for one of the following reasons;

  • The tenant’s covenant is weak and therefore unsatisfactory to the landlord without some additional comfort
  • The tenant may be an overseas company with fe, if any, UK assets
  • The tenant is a new business and so is unable to provide evidence of its past good behaviour as a tenant.

When will the rent deposit be returned to the tenant?

The rent deposits will generally be returnable in the following circumstances;-

  • Assignment under the lease in accordance with the lease. (On such an occasion the landlord may, if appropriate, want to require a new rent deposit from the assignee.)
  • Expiry of the lease term without any holding over under the landlord and tenant Act 1954
  • Early termination of the lease by agreement. Early termination by agreement would exclude forfeiture and disclaimer

How can we help?

One of our team members will be able to draft the agreement and advise you on all matters related to commercial rent deposits – who holds the deposit, who is entitled to the interest, when the deposit should be repaid and under what circumstances should the landlord be allowed to deduct money from the deposit. We will use our experience and expertise to ensure that your interests are safeguarded as efficiently as possible.

If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice related to rent deposits, then please contact on 01206500181.

Lease renewals

HS Legal Solicitors lease renewals team offers lease expiry advice to landlords and tenants and complete support to clients involved a business lease renewal process.

Our Services on Lease Renewal

  • Lease analysis to establish whether the business tenancy is protected under legislation
  • Liaison with legal advisors to ensure the correct service of statutory notices
  • Inspection, measurement and analysis of comparable market transactions
  • Negotiations with the other party
  • Recommendations to settle or seek court proceedings
  • Issue of formal offers to settle, to protect a client’s ongoing court costs
  • Provision of expert witness reports and representation in court if required
  • Liaison with legal advisors over the terms of the new lease.

LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT (1954)

Businesses whose lease is covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act (1954) Part II have a legal right to remain in occupation after the lease has expired. Such commercial tenants also have the right to obtain a new lease on similar terms although the lease may be updated if appropriate.

However, there are certain exceptions where a landlord can refuse a new tenancy and reclaim the property from the tenant.

It pays to be prepared and a professional property consultant can help you with this. All Colliers International’s surveyors comply with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) best practice statements and civil procedural rules.

How we can help?

HS Legal Solicitors will negotiate directly with landlords on your behalf on lease renewals and terminations. We will ensure that all rent assessment requirements are met and help to secure the lease that works best for you. We can also give you advice on service charges when multi-occupied commercial premises are concerned. Our team has experience of negotiating terms that are in the best interest of our clients and will advise you accordingly based upon your circumstances.

If you have any specific questions or would like more detailed advice related to lease renewals, then please contact on 01206500181.

 

 

 

Deed of Variations

A Deed of Variations allows changes to a lease without the need to sign a whole new lease. One of our dedicated experts will guide you through the process of extending a lease to ensure that the legal process is upheld and that the outcome is favourable for you and that your interests are protected at all times.

What is deed of variations?

A Deed of Variations is a standard document for use where a landlord and a tenant agree to vary the terms of their lease. It provides a framework that can be used by the parties to document the particular changes that they have agreed.

Where Deed of Variations is is not suitable?

This Deed of Variations is not suitable for use where the parties wish to increase or decrease the length of term of the lease or to increase or decrease the extent of the premises.

Why does a lease need to be varied?

There can be various reasons for change. Common reasons with long residential property leases are that, on sale, it is discovered that there is an error in the Lease or its plan and this needs to be corrected to satisfy a buyer or lender. Another common reason is that, whilst the terms of the lease may have been appropriate for the law when the lease was granted, perhaps 30 years ago or more, they are no longer compliant with good or safe legal practice today, or perceived risks for leaseholders or lenders.

 

How we can help?

There are many reasons why a lease may need to be varied – whatever those reasons if you need an experienced opinion on whether you need to vary and a fast, competitive lawyer, get in contact with us.