Commercial Property to Let Southampton

There are many reasons to consider Commercial Property to Let Southampton – a good long term commercial property investment location.   Southampton is a key maritime port handling 1/5 of the UK’s container traffic with DP World Southampton being the 2nd largest container terminal in the UK.  Southampton supports 77,000 jobs in maritime industries and income of over £5.5 billion.   It is has always been a key cruise liner base but this is due to rise to 1.49 million passengers by 2020 and 2 million by 2030.   The port handles in excess of 42 million tones of cargo annually and by 2030 this is due to rise to 62.6 million according to the calculations of Associated British Ports which operates the Southampton port.  it handles 7% of the entire UK’s entire seaborne trade. Read the rest of this entry »

Retail Property to Rent

It doesn’t take a property genius to work out the high street is currently in decline but the out of town retail sheds are also taking a battering in the current tough economic climate with big retailers like Halfords and Carpetright giving severe profit warnings, so what is the outlook for potential retailers before committing to a retail property to rent?

Who will fill these A1 (the use class for high street retail)spaces?   There seems to be little shortage of A3 (restaurant and pubs) and A4 (hot food takeaway) with outlets like Subway often opening 4 -5 outlets in one medium sized city alone.   Starbucks has had to reinvent itself from the top downwards in order to stay ahead of the countless designer coffee outlets and Costa Coffee is snapping on its heels.  Have coffee houses reached saturation or is there still potential for high street low cost retail property to rent? Read the rest of this entry »

Security Of Tenure For Business Tenants

Security Of TenureIf a tenant is in occupation of a business premise when the lease comes to an end, he has the right to renew his lease on broadly similar terms to the existing lease.   So if he has a 12 year lease, he can ask for another 12 year lease and the same will happen when that 12 year lease comes to an end ad infinitum.

These rights come from the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and most business tenants find these rights very confusing.

No earlier than 12 months before the contractual term of the lease expires, either the Landlord or the Tenant can serve a notice on each other trying to establish the position where a Tenant has a right to renew his lease. Read the rest of this entry »

Service Charge

service chargeService charge provisions in a lease are intimidating and yet they are one of the areas of a lease which result in more litigation and complaints.   You can have a premises which effectively gives the landlord a blank cheque book and there is nothing you can do about it or is there?  I hope this short video guide will give tenants some useful tips and ideas where you have to take a lease with a service charge.

The service charge provisions in most leases are situated at the back of the lease in one of the schedules often one of the last schedules so right at the back.   In the main body of the lease there will be a tenant’s covenant to pay the service charge and in the landlord’s covenants, there will often be a series of covenants from the landlord covenanting to provide a list of services to the building or where the premises are situated on an estate, to the estate and building. Read the rest of this entry »

Rent Review

rent reviewWhen you take a commercial lease, one of the most intimidating parts of a lease are the rent review provisions.  They go on for pages and are full of jargon.  I wanted to give you a brief guide to rent review provisions so that when you are given a copy of a lease, you will know exactly what to look for.

The rent review provisions in a lease of commercial property are usually found in one of the schedules at the back of the lease.  At the front of the lease, there will usually be set out the rent review dates.  Most commercial leases have a 5 yearly rent review pattern although some have a 3 yearly pattern.  Reviews every 3 years can be costly for both landlord and tenant who have to employ surveyors each time there is a rent review to argue their position. Read the rest of this entry »

Buying a convenience store

Buying a convenience storeConvenience stores are lucrative businesses and although the market is dominated by the big boys like Co-Op, Tesco Express and Sainsburys Local, there are still plenty of independents operating under the Spar and Londis trade names.  So there are good opportunities for buying successful existing businesses in prime locations.

What should the buyer being looking for if buying a convenience store as a going concern for sale?

Read the rest of this entry »

Why you should use a legal advisor

legal advisorIt is tempting when money is tight to dispense with a legal advisor when taking or granting a lease especially if the lease is a renewal of an existing lease.  What could go wrong?  You might even have the precedent saved on your system so it is just a question of slotting in a few blanks and that’s it.  You have saved yourself £600 to £800 plus VAT in legal fees.

Unfortunately, I have had clients who have lost considerable sums of money from doing a DIY job.   One client of mine granted a lease to a tenant but although it contained the wording to “contract out “from the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 because the necessary notice and statutory declaration were overlooked that tenant acquired security of tenure and is now continuously renewing the lease on the very unfavourable terms and they are not the best of tenants. Read the rest of this entry »

How to speed up a commercial property transaction

commercial property transactionWe are in a really shaky market at the moment if you are selling or granting leases of a commercial property transaction.   Potential buyers and tenants are very thin on the ground and have lots of options.  They will not wait whilst the conveyancing process grinds it way along.   So what is the secret to speeding up the legal process?  In three words,  Killer Sales Pack.

This is a bit like the recently scrapped Home Information Pack.   It should be put together in conjunction with your solicitor because he knows precisely what he is going to be asked for. Read the rest of this entry »

Environmental Search

Environmental SearchDuring the conveyancing process, you will hear reference to an environmental search.  I just wanted to explain what this search does, when you should carry out it out, how much it costs and how long it takes.

When the Environmental Protection Act came into force in 1990, it introduced a new regime where landowners and occupiers became potentially liable to clean up contamination found in the ground under their properties.   Clean up and remediation costs are extremely costly and can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Read the rest of this entry »

What to look for in a commercial lease

commercial property leaseOK – you have decided you need to take some premises for your new start-up and you have found a great location, but what to look for in a commercial lease?   The landlord’s agent sends you a lease.   It is 70 pages long.  You have yet to instruct a lawyer but you want to have a quick look through the lease to see if there are any nasties.   However, this thing is massive and it is all written in heavy legal jargon.   What to look for in a commercial lease?

Well, most leases are organised in the same way so once you follow these guidelines, you should be able to at least move around the document with some confidence. Read the rest of this entry »

Dominic Beeton, Solicitor
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