The temptation with many legal problems is to start by trying to solve it yourself. With the advent of the internet, Google, ChatGPT and other information platforms, this has become much more accessible to non-lawyers. And it’s probably free too. But how can you be sure the agreement you are downloading or asking AI to create is right for your situation?
Many of the documents you find online these days haven’t been tailored to your circumstances. They might even be for jurisdictions outside the UK. That’s where lawyers come in, and that’s the value we can add. A lawyer knows what law applies and what clauses need to be included to maximise the protection the lease gives to you in your particular circumstances.
This is true for leases of commercial properties. Many commercial leases contain a complex array of interlocking clauses. Not only do they set out the fundamentals, like the length of the lease and the annual rent, but they also deal with rent reviews, transferring the lease to others, service charges, and much more. Where the lease is “silent” on such matters, or fails to address them adequately, they become an area where there can be disagreement later.
A D.I.Y. lease can create a myriad of issues when the clauses are inadequate or missing entirely. Issues with rent reviews, issues with repair obligations, or worse still, issues with evicting a tenant you don’t want in occupation any longer, are just a few of the examples. These all stem back to the wording of the lease itself, and often when that’s been drafted poorly or is missing entirely from the lease, it can cost thousands (or even tens of thousands) of pounds to rectify. Not to mention the delays it might cause to your conveyancing transaction, or the stress it will cause by having to litigate through the Courts later.
So, before you consider downloading a document from your favourite “.com”, weigh up the cost of having it drafted professionally and properly by a commercial property lawyer, who is going to advise you every step of the way on how best to achieve your desired outcome from the start and protect your assets – because the property you own is often one of the most valuable assets in your portfolio.
This is only intended to be a summary and not specific legal advice. If you would like further information or advice, please do contact a member of our team.