Relationships with your Landlord - Common Problems often only Discovered after Occupation

Posted by Malcolm Campbell on 10 August 2016
Relationships with your Landlord - Common Problems often only Discovered after Occupation

Without doubt the 2 most common practical problems/issues experienced by lessees associated with the day to day occupation of leased premises are Car parking and Air Conditioning.

Some premises will come with a set number of car parks. It is important to know which car parks are yours and whether these car parks are exclusively yours or rather a part of common area available to anyone to use. Whether the parking spaces are secure is also very important. Having other people gaining access to and using your spaces without permission is infuriating for lessees.

Sometimes car parking spaces are not a part of the premises (for example they may not form a part of the title the premise you are leasing) and as such may be granted to you subject to a licence to occupy. Whilst licences to occupy often provide less security of tenure and can often be terminated on a short period of notice, many car parking licences will be tied to the term and/or termination of a lease. This means whether you need the car parking spaces or not you may be forced to pay for them for the full term of the lease.

Make sure that car parking is dealt with clearly and adequately in the lease or related licence to occupy.

Physically identify where the air conditioning zones are, where the thermostats are located and whether you can adjust the temperature within your premises.

Depending of the nature of the building the premises may be serviced by a central air conditioning system for the whole building or individuals units for each premises or a combination of the two.

If the premises have a central system for the building the outgoings of the building will include the service and repair costs of the system.

If the premises have individuals units for each premises be wary of the lessor requiring the lessee to service and maintain the units at their own expense. Many of the clauses of this nature are unreasonable and unfair and can impose huge financial burdens on the lessee. Incoming lessee’s should insist on a full service report on the system before they occupy so they can be clear as to whether the system was fully operational and properly maintained by the previous occupant. Otherwise a new lessee may end up bearing the costs of repairing a system that was neglected by the previous occupant and/or the lessee.

Entering into a lease is a significant decision and process for any business. It is critical to ensure you understand your rights and obligations under the lease. We can work with you to ensure you are making the best decision for your business and that problems like those above do not get in the way of you focusing on your business.