Renting a Commercial Property


Renting a Commercial Property 26/01/18

When you picture your thriving business, what does your ideal commercial property look like? A detached warehouse perhaps? A Grade A town centre ground floor office suite? Or how about your own floor within an open plan modern multi let? Only you know what is best for your business, but the prospect of renting a commercial property can be daunting.

We’re going to cover the essentials, but if you already know that you are looking for the ideal move to a prime location around London, check out commercial property in Wimbledon for local advice and guidance on leasehold acquisitions. Or if you are interested in commercial properties overseas, get in the know with this simple guide to rental properties abroad.

Whatever your perfect move, let’s take a look at the industry knowledge you need to succeed.

Renting a Commercial Property – Initial Considerations

This may sound like an obvious checkbox to begin with, but it’s worth mentioning. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is in place to ensure that only the legal owner of a property may offer the lawful lease of that property to a tenant. If you are uncertain over the ownership of the property, you must make the relevant enquiries – involve a solicitor if necessary – to ensure that you avoid a situation like the famous case of the con artist Victor Lustig, who in 1925 posed as a French government minister and successfully sold the Eiffel Tower to scrap metal merchants. Twice.  

Business Property – Finding the Ideal Premises

The type of property you require will depend on your business. Be realistic about space, storage, access, lighting, parking, rubbish disposal, and any other situational features that could cause issues if overlooked. Once you have a clear idea of what you need from your commercial rental, it’s time to start looking.

Where to search for a commercial property:

  • Listings in your local newspaper
  • Letting boards erected outside available premises
  • Online – Google commercial property estate agents in your area
  • Contact potential locations and request the details of the landlord
  • Council – your local council will have information on commercial landlords

Your Lease Agreement

Cost per month is a crucial factor in deciding whether a property is suitable. However, there are many other important considerations. For example, you must ensure that the duration of the lease fits with your expectations. Also, what are the service charges? Is there a break clause in your tenancy agreement? Are you happy with any potential dilapidation costs that must be paid upon terminating your agreement to cover paint work and repairs? Do you agree with the split maintenance costs between you and your landlord?

A note on insurance – Your lease will also state with which party (you or your landlord) the responsibility rests for arranging insurance. Be aware that even if your landlord provides insurance cover, part of the cost may be passed on through the service charge. Consider taking out a separate insurance policy to protect against the risk of any contents damage that may not be covered by your landlord’s policy.

Property Alterations

Lastly, you may find the ideal location with the ideal lease agreement only to discover that although the property is nearly ideal, it may require certain alterations. Can you make alterations to a rented property? Check out this guide to altering a rental property for the instant answers you need.