Checklist for Questions on Leases

The topics that you will need to cover include:

  • Checking with your legal advisers

  • Who the lessee will be. Is it in your company’s name or in your own personal name in which case you will be personally liable?

  • The term of the lease.

  • Any break clauses which allow the lease to be ended before the end of the term.

  • Full details of the property including other factors such as car parks or right of ways.

  • Whether a guarantee will be required.

  • The amount of rent that is payable and whether it includes outgoings or not.

  • Outgoings and who will be responsible for those charges such as water, rates, gas, electricity, telephones etc.

  • Whether there is any rent reviews and how the rent increases are calculated.

  • What services, if any, will be provided by the landlord.

  • Who is responsible for insurance of the building?

  • Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

  • The lease should state clearly what usage the premises can have. That is, what type of business can be operated there?

  • Details of what fit outs or what alterations you can make to the premises.

  • What happens if you make improvements? Will the landlord reimburse for that.

  • Whether you are allowed to assign the lease.

  • Whether you are able to sublet part of the premises if you want to.

  • Whether the tenant has the right to repossess the premises if you fail to pay the rent.

  • What happens if the tenant or the landlord fails to honour their obligations to repair and maintain the building? This will depend on whose obligation it is.

  • Whether the landlord can bring action for distress, in which case the rent are in arrears and the bailiffs will seize goods and equipment to meet the costs involved.

  • Whether the lease can be extended

  • What are the obligations of the landlord 

  • Whether it is possible to ask for a premium when the lease is assigned to someone else.

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