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Is your business property in order? Part 2

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My last article was the first in a series of three encouraging businesses to ensure that their property paperwork is in order, to try and future proof against all eventualities, especially given the uncertainty around the exact terms and implications of Brexit.

This week we consider some further ways that you can try and protect yourself and your business from unforeseen circumstances and things which you can do to enhance your position should an unexpected opportunity arise.

Physical Alterations and Works

  • If you are looking at taking on additional business space consider:
    • whether it is large enough to accommodate future additional staff
    • if it can be re-configured easily to maximise the available space
    • whether it is suitable for your business needs and, if not, whether it would be possible to alter it
    • whether you can create self-contained areas to sublet space to assist with outgoings and rent
    • if the current planning permission authorises your proposed use
  • If you are planning to make alterations or have already carried out works consider:
    • whether you obtained all the necessary consents from the landlord and/or the lender/mortgagee
    • whether you have obtained any relevant planning permission and buildings regulations consents

Sharing or Disposing of Your Business’s Property

  • If you have, or are about to take a lease you should ascertain:
    • whether you can assign (transfer your lease) and/or sublet
    • whether you can share occupation with group or other companies
    • whether there are any break clauses
  • If you want to exercise a break clause it is vital to ensure that:
    • the deadline is not missed
    • all the conditions are complied with
    • the notice is served correctly
  • If you do not intend to move out you may want to try and negotiate a rent-free period from the landlord in exchange for not exercising the break.
  • If the mid to long term is uncertain, you could see whether the landlord would be willing to alter the timing of any break dates (effectively postponing them), or to introduce additional breaks.
  • If you are successful in negotiating any variations to the terms of your existing lease, ensure that the changes are documented and registered:
    • to protect your interest
    • to avoid any misunderstandings later

If you have any queries or would like us to assist you to resolve any matters or to deal with a potential transaction, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.