A High Wycombe solicitor has warned that the outcome of commercial lease negotiations can have such a wide-ranging effect on small businesses that they can effectively be a “make or break” moment.
Graham King, Senior Partner at Easton Street-based Reynolds Parry Jones LLP, issued the warning against a background of challenging times for high streets across the UK, with many businesses that are closing placing the blame on onerous terms in their leases.
He said: “Commercial lease agreements are complicated, which means small differences in the terms can lead to big differences in outcomes for small business tenants.
“For instance, including a break clause that allows you to terminate the lease prior to its expiry can offer vital flexibility that allows a business to move to more suitable premises, should commercial conditions change.
“Likewise, providing for security of tenure will give you the right to renew your lease in the future on the same terms as the existing lease, meaning you reduce the risk of losing your premises in the future.”
He said that there is a range of other considerations that businesses need to take into account during lease negotiations, including repairing obligations and temporary rent reductions.
“Getting commercial lease negotiations right can be make or break for small businesses and it is always advisable to seek the advice of an experienced solicitor with knowledge of the local market,” said Graham.