Commercial Leases vs Residential Shorthold Tenancies

An apartment on the streetA commercial lease is a key document for business owners that are usually constructed with the help of a commercial lease solicitor in London. It lays out the terms of the agreement between landlord and tenant in the same way as a residential shorthold tenancy contract. However, that’s more or less where the similarity ends. Renting a commercial property is much more complex.

Some people rent residential property independently and without the advice of an estate agent or solicitor. As the arrangement is fairly simple, there are standard rental forms available to buy online or the high street. They may not cover all the conditions that the landlord and tenant might want or be watertight legally, but this is still fairly common. Renting a commercial property without the assistance of a commercial lease solicitor in London, like Saracens Solicitors, is highly inadvisable, as the law in this area is complex and the tenant bears much more responsibility than in residential cases.

These are just some of the things that a first-time commercial tenant might need to know:

  • Commercial property costs much more than residential property – on average rents for commercial properties are higher than those for residential properties, for the same square footage;
  • Tenants are usually responsible for more of the maintenance of a commercial property – the exact terms of maintenance will ideally be laid out in the terms of the agreement drawn up by a commercial lease solicitor in London. However, typically, a commercial tenant is responsible for all of the internal maintenance while they are conducting business in the property;
  • Commercial leases are long-term – a residential shorthold tenancy is usually for six months to a year, whereupon it converts to a rolling monthly contract. Commercial leases might be three, five or even ten years or more. At the end of the term, the tenant might have an automatic right to renew;
  • Insurance is often part of a commercial lease agreement – residential tenants can choose to take out contents insurance to protect their belongings, but this is not normally specified as a requirement within their lease. A commercial tenant is often obliged to take out certain types of insurance in order to meet the terms of their commercial lease.