Commercial Property - Business Leases

"Impenetrability – that's what I say!" said Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass.

If as a landlord or tenant you’ve ever glanced at a typical lease and wondered

  • Why it needs translation into everyday English; and
  • Whether it really has to be written in impenatrable legalese,

You’ve come to the right place for advice. Leases – and for that matter most other legal documents – do not have to be impenetrable. Nor do they have to be so long and tedious you fall asleep reading them. Impenetrability is there for the benefit of the lawyers. The real reason why lawyers torture the English language when they draft legal documents is that they are so scared of their own shadows that they play safe. They just write the documents as they have always been and they write at length because they daren’t leave anything out.

We write leases in plain English. If you want us to draft a lease for you, we will explain the commercial ins and outs – and then provide a draft in language you should be able to understand on first reading. If you can’t, we’ll have another go.

For lettings of small shops and light industrial units we have devised what we call the “prêt à let” lease – ready to go. We can also provide drafts of leases written to “institutional” standards, but still in user friendly language.

We prefer to write leases that maintain a fair balance between landlord and tenant and comply with the Code for Commercial Leases. This doesn’t mean being soft on tenants. There is a robust commercial point to be made: it is much more difficult for tenants to object to lease terms they perceive to be fair. As well as causing friction over costs, oppressive leases often hurt the landlord when it is time for rent review and lease renewal. Courts and arbitrators can and do reduce rents at review and renewal to take into account unfair treatment of tenants. Why not avoid the risk in the first place? We can show you how.