Commercial premises range in size and complexity from lock-up shops, at one extreme, to shopping malls and industrial estates, at the other.
At Devereux & Co we specialise in shops and offices typically found in the High Street and also units in out of town industrial parks.
Many transactions proceed on a leasehold basis since the owner prefers to let his property and receive a rental income rather than dispose outright by means of a freehold sale. We will have to review the terms of any existing Lease and sometimes prepare a new one. There may be assignments of existing Leases or the creation or assignment of sub-Leases. Necessary consents will have to be obtained from landlords, lenders and others. We will check that appropriate indemnities are provided.
No one Lease is the same as another and they vary hugely in terms of length and complexity. Experience and expertise are required to ensure that the competing interests and expectations of the client are met, whether he is the landlord or the tenant.
Apart from the annual rent there are many factors which will affect the tenant in terms of cost and flexibility. Great care is needed to ensure that the repair and insurance obligations are fair, that the tenant has the ability to carry out alterations and improvements, to assign (sell) the premises and to change the authorised use according to the occupant’s requirements.
Other considerations include VAT on the rent, security of tenure and planning and environmental law.
Quite commonly the acquisition or disposal of commercial premises is associated with the purchase or sale of the business carried on there. For example the seller of a restaurant or café will wish to dispose of the premises together with the goodwill of his business, the fittings and fixtures and the stock. A special form of asset sale agreement is required, often prepared in conjunction with the client’s accountant.
When dealing with commercial properties we are very aware of our clients’ need ‘to make it happen’.