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A commercial lease agreement is a contract between a property owner and a business tenant. The lease gives the tenant the right to occupy and use the property for a commercial or business purpose in exchange for regular payments to the property owner.
Commercial leases grant both the lesser and the lessee certain rights and duties. If there is a dispute both the lessee and the property owner can bring a grievance to the court of law for settlement.
First Law Solicitors provides expert advice to both landlords and tenants to resolve the dispute quickly and at a low cost.
Legal Aspects of Commercial Leases
The terms of the lease are set before the beginning of the contract. Any changes can be madeto the contract with mutual agreement through a contract amendment.
The terms usually include length of the lease, rent schedule, lease renegotiation, conditions for business activity on the premises, ownership rights of assets on the property and provisions for security or damage deposit.
A commercial lease is a legally binding contract, enforceable in the court of law. It makes sense to get a good lawyer to draw up and review the lease and understand the contract in detail before signing.
Our legal team can provide guidance and help in drafting and execution of lease. We also provide professional legal services if there is a breach of contract.
Commercial tenants have fewer rights than residential ones under a tenancy agreement. This is because businesses are considered more knowledgeable and capable of protecting their interests.
Nonetheless, the landlord has certain obligations and duties towards their commercial lessee. They are responsible for health and safety on the premises. Provision of utilities, maintenance and repair are also the duties of the landlord, unless the tenant agrees to take over these responsibilities.
If you believe that your landlord is not fulfilling their legal obligations, then get in touch with our team of lawyers for expert advice. We can guide you about the actions you can take including mediation and ADR to resolve the matter with your landlord.
Commercial Landlord Rights
The rights of the commercial landlord are decided and written down during lease negotiation and contract signing. Some of these rights include the following.
- Collecting an agreed amount of rent at specific times for the use of property.
- Enforcing the terms of the lease.
- Ensuring that the lessee maintains the premises in such manner that no damage is done to it.
- Taking possession of the premises after expiry of the lease.
- Collecting and maintaining a security deposit from the lessee.
- Making deductions from the deposit for any damages caused to the property by the tenant.
If you believe that your tenant is in breach of the lease agreement you can pursue legal action and serve a notice of eviction. Get in touch with our commercial lease experts to find out how you can protect your interests in a lease.
Mediation in Commercial Leases
Disputes are fairly common in commercial leases. Most of them occur due to misunderstanding or incorrect assumptions about the lease terms by one party or the other.
When such disputes arise, both parties have the option to take the matter to the court. However, the more commonly preferred approach is mediation for the settlement of disputes.
This is because both the landlord and the tenant have vested interests in continuing the lease. Ending the contract in the middle of a lease can significantly disrupt the business operations of the tenant.
The landlord also loses out as they can find it difficult to find another business to replace their existing tenant.
We offer mediation services for commercial leases that are less expensive than a lengthy litigation process in court. Please get in touch with our practice for a free consultation to find out more.