Commercial property - frequently asked questions
I own several commercial properties. Where should I source a tenancy agreement, at fixed price, and what terms should it include?
You can obtain a tenancy agreement from various websites which sell standard agreements which you are able to incorporate the terms that you have agreed with your tenant – but don’t.
If you are doing this to save on costs, be warned that it could cost you a lot more in the future. Instead you should source a solicitor who is not only experienced in this area of law but who can also offer a fixed price service which is agreed at the outset.
It is possible to find solicitors who can provide a quality form of lease, incorporating the terms that you have agreed with your tenant together with a report on the lease so you are fully aware of your obligations and those of the tenant and also arrange for completion of the lease, all for a fixed price.
The terms that should be included will greatly depend on a number of factors, such as the type of premises, is it retail, or industrial, is it part of a building or a letting of a whole.
Seeking advice from a specialist solicitor will help you to choose the right form of lease as well as making sure that other provisions such as repairing obligations, service charge payments and rent review are also incorporated. In addition, while it may not seem relevant at the moment, other issues to consider include provisions to enable either party to vacate the property or pass the lease to another party before the end of the lease term.
Currently, the commercial rental market is being driven by the tenant. As a landlord you may need to be more flexible to ensure that properties remain occupied, which will include more favourable terms within your lease. A solicitor can help you decide what you can afford to concede on and what you should try to ensure remains.
The property is your investment and a solicitor will not only ensure that the lease best protects your immediate interest but at the same time protect your long term commercial interests.
How do you charge for the work you do?
Our charges will be made up of two items, the costs of the legal services that we provide to you and monies payable to third parties, for example local authority, search fees, land registry fees and statutory payments such as stamp duty. Where we are able, we will agree a fixed fee for the costs of the legal services that we provide. If this is not possible our costs will be charged at competitive hourly rates, and at the outset we will provide you with an indication of such likely costs
We are also happy to discuss other fee paying arrangements, such as the capping of legal services and costs to suit your requirements and budget.
I am not located in the North West; can you still act for me?
Our current client base is spread all over the United Kingdom and further a field. With modern technology we are able to provide speedy and seamless legal services to clients almost anywhere.
When I have used solicitors in the past the person I am dealing with often changes. Will this happen if I instruct you?
At Stephensons we are pleased to have a very low turnover of personnel. Our recruitment policy is to seek local talent that is committed to enhancing the provision of legal services from the areas in which our offices are based. Many of our current partners joined the firm as trainees. This is a testament to our secure workforce. Consequently it is very unlikely that the person will change.
Where possible transaction work is senior solicitor/partner lead and they are supported by another fee earner. Our team structure approach ensures there is always someone familiar with your matter.
As well as needing a solicitor I will also need to instruct a property agent and other property professionals. Are you able to assist me?
At Stephensons we pride ourselves on our expertise and bringing business opportunities to our clients. As a result we have excellent relationships with many property and other professionals across the United Kingdom. We will be able to assist by introducing you to which ever profession you may need.
I believe that grant funding is sometimes available; can you explain if such funding is available for me?
In some property transactions there may well be government or other grant funding available to assist purchasers and developers. In the past we have been able to source such funding and assist our clients in obtaining the same. Grant funding schemes are varied and their availability does depend on the location of the property and nature of the transaction. We will be happy to advise and assist should you require.