After receiving the draft lease from the solicitor of the seller, the tenant’s conveyancing lawyer should go through the contents of the entire document and wherever necessary amend it to protect his client’s interests. This includes checking whether the document is clear, consistent and dated.
He should take particular interest in ascertaining that the documents contain all the necessary details, such as description of document, easements, covenants, renovations, licence, etc. For instance, a landlord may seek to impose greater restriction on tenant’s freedom to dispose of the property, but a tenant may seek greater independence in this issue. A balance between the rights of both parties must be struck. This is especially true in the case of commercial leases, where much will depend on the bargaining power of the parties.
The Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales 2007 discusses the issues in this regard.
When approving the draft lease, the solicitor should also keep in mind that the tenant may want to assign the lease in future, thus clauses that may seem unattractive to future assignees should be considered (although they may not pose a problem to the current tenant).
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