How to Prepare to Grant or Assign a Lease of Commercial Premises.

Oliver Lewis provides Essence readers in April 2018 issue with steps to take to prepare to Grant or Assign a Lease of Commercial Premises. If you are the owner of commercial premises, you may be considering letting all or part of them to a tenant to generate rental income. Alternatively, you may yourself be a tenant of commercial premises which, due to a change in business plans, you no longer intend to use and you plan on either assigning your lease or granting an underlease. So, what steps can you take to begin the process and what documentation can you begin to compile to help reach completion as quickly and as hassle free as possible? If you have not already found a new tenant, a commercial agent should be instructed to provide a valuation of the market rent for the premises and assist you with finding a tenant. An agent will also assist you with deciding the terms on which you want to let the premises. Where you are a tenant and wish to assign your own lease or grant an underlease, you should review your lease to check whether your landlord’s consent will be required before doing so. Be aware that your landlord may only give consent subject to certain conditions being met (which will also be set out in the lease). What documentation will a new tenant ask for? Once a new tenant has been found and you have instructed a solicitor, the first step is to compile a legal pack containing documents relating to the property. The documents that a new tenant is likely to ask for are detailed below. The more complete this pack is, the less likely there will be delays in the process later due to additional tenant enquires.

  • Energy Performance Certificate – (it is a legal requirement to produce an EPC when dealing with property. If a valid EPC is not already held, an accredited assessor will should be appointed to produce certificate).
  • Asbestos survey and management plan – (this is unlikely to be required for properties built after 1999).
  • Land Registry compliant plan of the property.
  • Most recent electrical and gas safety certificates.
  • Air conditioning inspection report.
  • Fire safety assessment report.
  • Any subsisting guarantees, warranties and/or insurance policies.
  • Any planning or building regulations approvals or certificates or correspondence from the local authority.

It is recommended that a solicitor be instructed as early in the process as possible. As well as guiding you through the initial stages and the transaction more generally, your solicitor will be able to put you in touch with recommended property agents as well as suitable professionals to assist with producing any of the above documents not already held. Oliver Lewis is a Solicitor in the Commercial Property Department at Mundays LLP and can be contacted on 01932 590627 or oliver.lewis@mundays.co.uk 

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