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Advice for business

Commercial Property

If you’re involved in purchasing, selling or leasing commercial property, you must be properly advised. Our team of bright experts is recommended in the Legal 500 for their proactive advice, delivered in plain English.

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By building a close individual working relationship with our clients, we aim to understand your business and your commercial ambitions.

Our team adopts these objectives, providing clear commercial advice and a personal service which will really move you.

We can help you with:

  • Corporate property finance
  • Disputes and property litigation
  • Estate development and plot sales
  • Estate management
  • Landlord and tenant issues
  • Leases and lease extensions
  • Transferring a commercial lease
  • Property development
  • Sale and leaseback
  • Sales and purchases
  • Secured lending

Commercial Property in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Ringwood and the New Forest

We have offices in Christchurch and Ringwood. Our Commercial Property Team also covers Bournemouth, Poole, Ringwood and the New Forest. The majority of our clients located in the Bournemouth and Poole area, but we have clients from across the UK.

Our commercial property solicitors’ expertise

Commercial property is likely to be fundamental to the operation of your business. Whether you use commercial property for business premises, you are a developer, or a property investor, we have the skills and expertise necessary to help you succeed.

We regularly work with occupiers, commercial landlords & tenants, small to large scale developers, and investors across the Dorset area. Although our offices are based in Christchurch and Ringwood, we attract individuals and businesses from Bournemouth, Poole, the New Forest and beyond.

Our clients range from sole traders and individual investors, to small and medium enterprises, to large regional and national corporations. We have experience handling transactions involving all types of commercial property, including:

  • Retail space
  • Offices
  • Warehouses
  • Cafes, restaurants and pubs
  • Leisure facilities and gyms
  • Mixed use

Whatever your purpose for dealing with commercial property, we approach all matters with a dynamic and proactive attitude. As well as our in-depth legal knowledge, we have decades of combined experience and a high level of commercial awareness.

We are proud to be able to offer an end-to-end commercial property service that caters to all your needs. From acquisition, to financing, to planning, to disposal, our consistent service and reliable advice adapts as your business grows and evolves. Our commercial property lawyers are known for building strong, ongoing relationships with businesses based on creative vision and shared goals.

Our commercial property team are also more than happy to assist with one-off matters or to provide general advice about your legal rights and responsibilities.

Legal advice for commercial property disputes

We have a wide range of experience supporting individuals and businesses in disputes concerning commercial property. We utilise strong negotiation skills to find resourceful solutions to issues such as:

  • Landlord & tenant disputes:
    • Dilapidations
    • Rent arrears
    • Service charge disputes
    • Forfeiture
    • Rent review disputes
    • Renewals
    • Breach of covenant
    • Break clause disputes
    • Transferring commercial leases (assignment and sub-letting)
  • Planning disputes and change of use
  • Adverse possession and trespass
  • Development disputes
  • Rights to light, rights of way and other easements
  • Option agreement disputes
  • Overage disputes
  • Insolvency

We always aim to resolve disputes as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible while minimising disruption to the operation of your business and any negative publicity.

Legal advice for landlords and tenants about commercial leases

Our team includes several specialist commercial lease solicitors who provide advice to commercial landlords & tenants about a wide range of leasehold matters and disputes.

As well as our dispute resolution experience, our expertise includes:

  • Drafting and reviewing the terms of commercial leases
  • Transferring a commercial lease – assignment and subletting
  • Forfeiture
  • Break clauses and notices
  • Renewing a commercial lease

For more information about assignment and subletting, visit our page on Transferring a Commercial Lease.

You may also be interested in…

We have written these commercial property articles to support your business in every aspect of buying, selling and leasing property and exercising your property rights:

Our other services for business

We can also help with a wide range of associated corporate and commercial matters, including:

Our commercial property fees

The viability of your business strategy will be a priority for us at all times. We are happy to discuss flexible fee structures with you that balance your budget with your commercial property requirements. Give us a call for more information about our fee structures and possible funding arrangements.

What should I be doing as a landlord?

Landlords should consider:

  • Improvements“ if the property is sub-standard, have all relevant energy efficiency improvements been made?
  • EPC’s - the timing of an EPC may be critical if the result is that the property is sub-standard. To retain control, a landlord may consider placing restrictions on a tenant’s ability to commission an EPC. It may also be appropriate to firstly obtain a draft EPC.
  • Foresight planning ahead and also considering that in the future the minimum standard may be increased.
  • Relevant date- it is important to determine which relevant date applies. This is particularly important for extensions or lease renewals where the tenant has remained in occupation.
  • Improvement costs the cost of relevant energy efficiency improvements where the property is sub-standard.
  • Non-compliance may result in enforcement action (including fines and public exposure) and a decrease in the property value. As an existing lease will continue, it may also impact matters such as rent review.
  • Onerous lease the rental amount a tenant may be willing to pay may decrease if the lease clauses are too onerous.
  • Consents are any third party consents required such as a lender or head-landlord?

What should tenants be doing?

Tenants should consider:

  • Sub-standard if the property you are letting is sub-standard the landlord may be exposed to enforcement action. As the lease itself will continue, rent should be paid and all covenants continue to be observed.
  • EPC’s there may be situations where a tenant would need to commission an EPC, for example on lease assignment, and the lease should reflect this.
  • Improvement costs does the lease allow the landlord to recover the cost of undertaking relevant energy efficiency improvements from the tenant?
  • Improvement works does the lease require or allow the tenant to carry out energy efficiency improvement works to prevent the property from being sub-standard?

Can you transfer a commercial lease?

You can usually transfer a commercial lease to someone else if you have the permission of the landlord. This can be done by way of a process called assignment.

However, some leases includes clauses that absolutely forbid commercial lease transfer. So, getting the right legal advice is important both before you enter into the lease and before starting the assignment process.

Read more here.

How do you assign a commercial lease?

Most leases restrict assignment and require the written permission of the landlord before assignment can take place.

First, the tenant needs to find someone to take over the lease (referred to as the ‘assignee’). Next, the tenant should obtain consent from the landlord if they agree, they will usually provide a Licence to Assign. Other consents may also need to be obtained, for example, if the landlord has a mortgage, the lender’s consent may be needed. Once the Licence to Assign has been signed, the formal transfer can proceed. Depending on the lease, the final transfer may need to be registered at HM Land Registry.

For a detailed explanation of the lease transfer process, read our article on Transferring/assigning a commercial lease to someone else.

What is a break clause for a commercial property?

A clause within the lease that enables you to bring your tenancy to an end before the expiry of the contractual term.

What is Overage provisions on land?

  • Overage gives you, as a seller, a second bite of the cherry.  As well as receiving the sale proceeds, overage allows you to share in any increase in value in a property that is realised after the property has been sold.
  • Overage provisions on land or property can also be referred to as clawback or uplift clauses.
  • If certain circumstances occur (at some stage after completion of the sale) the buyer makes an additional payment(s) to the seller for the same piece of land.

Read the full article here.

What is an option agreement?

An option agreement is a legally binding contract that gives a developer the right to purchase land or property from a landowner. Option agreements are often agreed to be within a specific period of time at a certain price.

To read more, click here.

What is a conditional contract?

A conditional contract sets out specified conditions in which both parties are bound to from the outset. Formal completion is linked to the satisfaction of the condition.

Therefore, a conditional contract provides the seller protection by preventing the buyer walking away if the condition is satisfied.

To learn more, including the pros and cons of conditional contracts, please read the full article here.

What is a turnover rent?

Essentially, a turnover rent is exactly what it sounds like. A tenant pays a percentage of their turnover rather than a fixed monthly or annual fee to their landlord.

A turnover rent is also commonly referred to as a turnover-based rent.

To read more about turnover rents for commercial property, click here.

What are Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) and who do they impact?

MEES set minimum energy efficiency standards which must be met for let properties. The regulations do not apply in respect of property sales. They affect both landlords and tenants of proposed, new and existing leases. They apply to residential and commercial properties, however this article focuses on commercial property only.

The minimum standard is a valid Energy Performance Certificate rating of E. Ratings of F and G are below the minimum. Where the property falls below the minimum it is known as a sub-standard property and the MEES regulations apply.

Read more about the minimum energy efficiancy standards here.

    Get in touch with our solicitors today

    We offer a free initial appointment to all new clients. To get in touch with our expert solicitors in Christchurch and Ringwood, simply call 01202 499255 or visit our get in touch page.

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