When renting commercial property, you can do so on the basis of a business lease or Licence to Occupy. Knowing which will be right for your commercial interests can be difficult and if you get the details wrong, you can end up granting rights or taking on responsibilities you did not intend.
Devonalds’ commercial property solicitors in Bridgend and Rhondda Cynon Taff can advise you on all aspects of renting commercial property, whether as a landlord or tenant. We can enable you to make the best choices for your business objectives and protect your financial interests.
Many people are unclear on the exact differences between a commercial lease and a Licence to Occupy. This means it is not uncommon for landlords to unintentionally create a landlord-tenant relationship with an occupier of their premises. This can give the occupier more rights than the landlord intended to and limit the landlord’s ability to use the property as they see fit.
Our commercial property solicitors are experts in business leases and business Licences to Occupy, so can ensure you create exactly the relationship you intend to. We can also assist you with all other aspects of managing the owner-occupier or landlord-tenant relationship, including lease and license renewals and terminations.
For expert help with your business leases and licences, get in touch with your local Devonalds office, or use the contact form at the top of the page for a quick response.
The difference between a business lease and Licence to Occupy
In basic terms, a lease gives the occupier an interest in a property and strong rights and protections, while a Licence to Occupy gives both landlord and tenant more flexibility.
A commercial lease usually grants the occupier exclusive use of a business premises for a fixed term. This usually applies either to a whole building, or a defined space within it, such as a single office in an office block. A business lease also grants certain rights to the occupier because it will create a secure business tenancy.
These tenants’ rights include being able to request a lease extension when the term of the original lease ends, landlords only being able to refuse a lease extension under certain fixed conditions, landlords potentially having to pay tenants compensation if they do not renew their lease and limits on any rent increases landlords can impose when renewing the lease.
A Licence to Occupy usually gives the occupier the right to use a space, but not exclusively, meaning they may have to share the space with the owner or a third party. The licence will usually be for less than 6 months, as after 6 months an occupier will be covered by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and may be able to claim a secure business tenancy.
A business Licence to Occupy can be beneficial for both landlords and business owners. It makes it easier for the landlord to regain vacant possession of the property if they need to, for example to redevelop or sell the property. This option can also be cheaper for occupiers as it usually means they will be exempt from paying Stamp Duty Land Tax and business rates. Sharing a space can also save on energy bills and other costs.
Taking premises on a Licence to Occupy basis is often popular with start-ups as it is less of a financial commitment and does not tie them into a long lease.
Our commercial leases & Licence to Occupy services
When creating or signing a business lease or business Licence to Occupy, it is absolutely vital to make sure all of the details are correctly handled to protect your rights and limit your liability in the event of any disputes. If you want to extend, alter or end a lease or Licence to Occupy, it is also important to make sure you do so in a legally sound way to avoid the potential for disputes.
Our commercial property solicitors regularly help clients with:
- Creating and reviewing business leases
- Creating and reviewing business licences
- Commercial property conveyancing
- Lease extensions and licence renewals
- Break clauses
- Commercial property dispute resolution
Why use Devonalds for your business leases and licences?
Devonalds’ commercial property solicitors have worked with businesses and commercial landlords in Rhonnda Cynon Taf and the surrounding area for over 35 years. Many of our solicitors were born and bred in the Rhondda Valley, giving our team a strong personal connection to the local area.
As well as giving us a unique insight into local issues and concerns, this personal connection to the area means we have a strong network of local contacts we can rely on to help quickly resolve any issues that do occur with your business property.
Devonalds is accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, which means you can be confident we have the expertise and high standards to reliably manage all of your commercial property transactions.
Get in touch with our expert business licences and leases solicitors at your local Devonalds office, or use the contact form at the top of the page to ask a question.
Where to find our business licences and leases solicitors