Commercial Leases

A commercial lease is usually one of the biggest investments a business will make. The implications of signing are substantial, with both parties taking on liabilities. For this reason, it is essential to have expert legal advice before agreeing to a commercial lease.

At Braddon & Snow, our commercial lease solicitors have wide expertise across a range of sectors, advising in respect of leases for retail, office space, industrial units, warehousing and hospitality premises. We will take the time to get to know your business and to understand exactly what you need from your lease.

We act for landlords and tenants and we will enter into negotiations on your behalf to ensure that the lease is the best possible deal. We are known for our outstanding service and you can be sure that we will work proactively to conclude your lease without delay.

Our expertise with commercial leases

We offer commercial lease advice across a wide range of matters, including:

  • Drafting a commercial lease
  • Negotiating the terms of the lease
  • Permitted use and planning conditions
  • Rent deposits and guarantors
  • Dilapidations, schedule of conditions and repairs
  • Break clauses
  • Security of tenure
  • Commercial lease extensions
  • Commercial lease renewal
  • Terminating a commercial lease
  • Lease covenants
  • Service charges
  • Rent review
  • Assignment and subletting
  • Commercial lease disputes

Our commercial lease lawyers are strong negotiators and will work hard on your behalf to agree the best possible lease. We always aim to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently so that your lease can be put into place without delay.

For more information about our services, see our Commercial property page.

We will keep you updated as to progress throughout and ensure that we are available to speak to you to discuss matters and to answer any questions you may have.

We also deal with commercial dispute resolution.

Speak to our commercial lease solicitors in Hoddesdon or Broxbourne

For help and advice with your commercial lease requirements, please feel free to contact us:

Our commercial lease fees

We always aim to ensure our fees are transparent, while providing excellent quality legal advice as cost-effectively as possible. Our approach is always to do all we can to keep costs to a minimum for our clients and to ensure that they have the best possible service.

Many commercial lease issues can be dealt with on a fixed fee basis, depending on the complexity of the transaction. We always provide a clear estimate of the costs upfront. If unforeseen circumstances arise, we will discuss any additional costs with you before carrying out the work.

Find out more about our pricing.

Commercial lease FAQs

What is a landlord responsible for in a commercial lease?

Commercial landlords have a duty to ensure the premises meet set safety levels in respect of fire risk as well as providing gas and electricity safety certificates.

The lease is crucial in defining the full responsibilities of the landlord, but these can also include the following:

  • Where people will be working in the building, complying with health and safety standards including provision of facilities, adequate lighting, space and ventilation and a reasonable temperature;
  • Maintaining and repairing the external structure to include foundations, roof and exterior walls or as defined in the lease;
  • Providing safe fixtures and fittings, such as lighting or heating.

What rights does a commercial tenant have?

Where the lease falls within the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, a commercial tenant will have security of tenure, meaning they have the right to renew the lease after the end of the term. Any other rights tenants have will need to be defined by the terms of the lease.

What happens when a commercial lease expires?

If the tenant has security of tenure, then a new lease will need to be negotiated with the landlord by following the procedure set out in the Landlord and Tenant Act. There are limited grounds on which a landlord can oppose renewal, such as an intention to demolish the premises or use it for their own business purposes.

If the lease is not protected by the Landlord and Tenant Act, then the tenant will need to vacate the property on the lease expiry date and in accordance with the terms of the lease, which may require them to pay for any works that are required to put the property into good order.

The tenant can ask the landlord for a new lease, but they have no obligation to agree to this.

How can you get out of a commercial lease early?

If the lease has a break clause, the landlord or tenant can use this to end their obligation in accordance with the terms, which are likely to specify when the break can be made and how much notice must be given.

Where no break clause exists, it may be possible to negotiate an early termination of the lease. The party wishing to end the lease would generally pay for the legal expenses of both parties. Where a tenant is struggling to meet the rent, the landlord may decide that it is in their best interests to end the lease and move on.

With the landlord’s agreement, the tenant may also be able to transfer the lease to a different party. This is known as ‘assigning the lease’.

How do break clauses work?

A break clause, also known as an option to determine, gives both landlord and tenant the opportunity to end the lease before the whole lease term has expired.

The clause will state when the break can be made, for example after the first two years of the lease or at the halfway point, and how much notice must be given.

What is the difference between a commercial tenancy and a licence to occupy?

A commercial tenancy gives the tenant the right of exclusive use of the property for the time and rent set out in the lease.

A licence is personal permission for someone to occupy the property, but without any property rights and no security of tenure.

A licence is a far simpler arrangement and is generally used for a short occupation as it can be drawn up quickly and cheaply. It could be used for temporary use of a unit or to allow a potential tenant into occupation while a commercial lease is negotiated and signed.

It is essential to take great care in granting a licence however, as it is easy for a landlord to inadvertently grant a lease, meaning that the tenant would be able to claim rights such as security of tenure. Legal advice should always be taken before allowing anyone into occupation of commercial premises or before taking on a commercial property.

Can a commercial tenant make changes to the property?

A commercial tenant will often want to make changes to a property, adapting it to suit the tenant’s purpose. The lease will set out whether alterations and improvements are permitted or alternatively these may not be mentioned.

If they are permitted, the consent of the landlord will be needed. This may not be unreasonably withheld, although there could be a disagreement over what is reasonable and the landlord may be entitled to ask for payment for their legal costs and/or any reduction in value of the property.

The tenant will be expected to use good materials and ensure the works are carried out to a professional standard.

If the lease does not mention alterations or improvements, then the tenant can carry out what work they wish so long as the property is not spoiled or destroyed in any way.

Speak to our commercial lease solicitors in Hoddesdon & Broxbourne

For a friendly, informal discussion with a member of our commercial lease solicitors about how we can help you with your commercial property needs, please get in touch:


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