(1) THE RENT

Be clear
– what rent is payable
– when it is payable
– when and how the rent will be reviewed
You should also check for any other financial obligations, like service charges (such as cleaning costs) for “common areas” (areas of a property that a number of businesses use, including entrances and lifts).

(2) USING THE PROPERTY

Check that the lease (the written agreement with the landlord) covers the use of all of the property you expect it to. For example,
– can you use the outside area for storage/refuse
– that the access you need is available when you need it (check your rights of way)
It is also important that the lease and the relevant planning permission will allow you to conduct your type of business from the property.

(3) END OF THE LEASE

The length of the lease needs to fit in with your business plan. If you require some flexibility in your lease you will need to negotiate break clauses or rights to assign or sub-let. If you want to remain at the property for the long term you will need to ensure your lease is renewable and not contracted out of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

(4) REPAIR

Most commercial tenants who are leasing the whole of a property (as opposed to just part) are responsible for insuring the property and keeping it in good repair. A survey and preparation of a Schedule of Condition is therefore recommended. Unless suitable drafting is included in the lease, the tenant could end up being responsible for any disrepair arising before the lease start date.