UK Commercial Property Leases - Seek Professional Advice
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Businesses are being warned to avoid tempting but potentially costly
shortcuts in commercial property leases. The advice comes following the
publication of a new stronger code of practice that includes a step-by-step
guide for tenants to negotiate a lease. Leading city law firm, Hegarty
Solicitors, welcomes thecode of practice, but says it is not a substitute for
expert legal advice that can often secure substantial savings for businesses and
anticipate issues that arise years after a lease is signed.
New Government Backed Code
The new 'Code for Leasing Business Premises' that was launched in March 2007
by Housing Minster Yvette Cooper, has been published to clarify the process and
aims to assist new businesses that are new to negotiating leases for shops and
Commercial Property Partner Richard Hegarty says businesses might be tempted
to try and handle negotiating the lease themselves, but it is their lack of
experience that makes them more vulnerable, and they need to realise the
importance of using experienced property lawyers.
Richard explained, "The new code is not compulsory but is regarded more as a
basis for negotiation rather than a blueprint for a lease."
"I would strongly recommend that anyone entering into lease negotiations
takes expert legal advice. The code is still quite complicated, and businesses
should take into consideration the time they want to spend trying to understand
the lease, and what happens when something goes wrong at a later stage"
"Also, the code is standardized but every property is different. A commercial
property lawyer would able to provide specialist advice on each individual
scenario and know to look for anything unusual in the lease."
Negotiating Yourself; A False Economy
He continued, "When people are starting up we know that every penny counts,
and they might think they will save money handling the lease themselves. A
commercial property lawyer is really like an insurance policy. We are highly
experienced at negotiating leases and can often obtain a better deal than they
could themselves. The savings they could make can dwarf the legal costs
involved, and they have peace of mind knowing they are fully aware of their
rights and commitments in the lease."
The new code suggests that landlords may not want to tie tenants in for
lengthy periods. Richard says that when a company is unsure of it's future,
perhaps because it is new or in an unstable market it can make sense to have a
shorter lease period. However, many other businesses prefer to have the security
of knowing they will not be looking for other premises or incurring moving costs
in the near future.
"When you are busy running a business the last thing you want to contend with
is the pressure of having to find new premises. The length of a lease is very
important, and a commercial property lawyer would be able you help you make a
decision to suit you and your business," commented Richard.
About the Author
Richard Hegarty founded the firm of Hegarty LLP in Peterborough 1974.
Richard Can be contacted via email at email@example.com
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-11-22 23:42:20 in Legal Articles