Business Leases and Licences

Most business premises are either leased or rented on short-term licences. This provides a great deal of flexibility for the tenant’s business, which is useful in the early stages of a new venture when there is simply neither the money nor the ability to borrow to buy premises. A downside of not owning your premises is that landlords may be able to take the property back, forcing you to find new premises.

Deciding whether to have a lease or a licence is an important decision, for both the owner and the occupier. There are important differences, which Caversham Solicitors can advise you on.

Leases can be complicated documents, and it is important to instruct a solicitor who can advise you on your obligations and negotiate the form of lease. We can also advise you on negotiating the heads of terms.

If you take a longer lease, there will almost certainly be rent reviews, which are generally done on an “upwards-only” basis, so the rent will never go down. If your business is growing, its current premises may become too small, and you may need to get out of the lease. Ideally, you will have negotiated a suitable “break”, but it is important to comply with all the requirements for the break notice to be valid. You may also be able to assign or sublet. In all these cases good legal advice can make all the difference.

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