Early Exits From Leased Commercial Property

In an ideal world, the timing that would be recommended for tenant to start planning their exit from a commercial property would be 12 – 18 months, before the end of the lease term.

This allows plenty of time for an exit strategy to be prepared – including consulting a Chartered Surveyor to advise on what work is required to meet the obligations contained within the lease. With time on your side, works can be planned in the optimum sequence, and competitive quotes can be obtained and contractors selected.

In light of the Covid pandemic, we are seeing greater levels of movement within the commercial sector, with tenants frequently having to exit premises early.

This often leaves timeframes much tighter than would be preferable, which can increase the risk associated with dilapidations claims. With this in mind, what can be done by tenants that need to exit a commercial property earlier than planned?

Appoint a Chartered Building Surveyor

Whilst occupiers of commercial property may only need to deal with dilapidations obligations a handful of times, Chartered Building Surveyors deal with such matters on a daily basis. This allows us to easily identify the works that are required to meet the obligations of a lease and advise on the most cost-effective way to achieve them.

A Chartered Surveyor will also be able to get involved at the point that a dilapidations claim is made by the landlord. Our team are highly experienced at representing outgoing tenants faced with dilapidations liabilities; helping to negotiate down the final settlement due.

Whilst there is a fee associated with appointing a Chartered Surveyor, in the vast majority of cases, this is more than made up for in the renegotiated final figure.

Consult your paperwork

When first entering into a lease for a commercial property, there are several pieces of paperwork that can be prepared that help to limit your liability at the point of exit. Firstly, the lease itself may have been negotiated to contain only minimal repair and redecoration responsibilities. Furthermore, you may have commissioned a Pre-Lease Survey or Schedule of Condition by a Chartered Building Surveyor.

If you have any such paperwork in place, undertaking a review is a good starting point. From here, it should be easier to establish what repairs and other works may need to be undertaken and to what finish they would need to be completed.

For exiting tenants, it’s important to have a full understanding of dilapidations obligations should they have to vacate their rented premises. To speak to Matthew Parkinson Surveyors about exiting a commercial premises, please get in touch.