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Commercial lease checklist

Make it Legal™ Checklist

Here are a few important steps to take to finish your document

Read the document to make sure it meets your needs and that you’ve provided all of the necessary information about the tenancy relationship. Remember that, if you have any questions, you can Ask a lawyer for advice.

You’ll need to complete other documents as part of the process of creating your Commercial Lease.

Documents to exclude security of tenure

The landlord should send certain documents to the tenant before the lease is signed and dated. These are required, alongside the relevant provisions in this Commercial Lease template, to ensure that the tenant does not get security of tenure. You will need: 

  • a Landlord’s notice to exclude security of tenure (ie a notice warning the tenant that in agreeing to the terms of the Commercial Lease they are giving up their statutory right to security of tenure), signed by the landlord, and

  • a Tenant’s agreement to exclude security of tenure (ie a declaration signed by the tenant swearing that they have received the landlord’s notice and they are content with the consequences of giving up their rights). This document can be made and sent to the tenant to sign. After signing it, the tenant should return it to the landlord

Other documents

You may also need to make:

  • a Rent deposit deed. The landlord and tenant can choose to use this as a means of securing the commercial tenancy deposit. It’s a document that sets up a charge against the deposit money in the landlord’s favour while the landlord holds the deposit money in a separate account on the tenant’s behalf

  • a schedule of condition. You may choose to use this document to record the condition of the property to help define the parties’ repair obligations

  • an inventory. You may choose to use an inventory to record fixtures and items in the property and their condition to help track any changes between the start and end of the tenancy

When creating these documents, the parties should sign them as appropriate, but do not date them until you’re ready to date the Commercial Lease. For more information on these documents, read Entering a commercial lease. You can Ask a lawyer for help preparing or executing any of these documents.  

This Commercial Lease is a special type of document called a deed. Deeds must be executed (ie signed) in a certain way in order to be legally binding. To sign your Commercial Lease, you should:

  1. Print a copy of the Commercial Lease for each the landlord and the tenant

  2. If you want to attach copies of the property’s title plans to the lease, do this before signing. Title plans illustrate the extent of the property. They can be obtained from the Land Registry if the landlord does not have a copy.

  3. Both parties should sign each copy of the Commercial Lease.

    1. If either of the parties are companies or partnerships (including LLPs), make sure they follow the correct procedure for executing a deed for companies or partnerships, as selected during the document interview.  

    2.   Each signature must be witnessed. A witness should be: 

      1. not another party to the deed (ie not the landlord or the tenant)

      2. independent and unconnected with the parties (eg not a family member)

      3. over 18 years of age, and 

      4. of sound mind

  4. After watching a party sign the deed, their witness should sign the deed and add their name, address, and occupation directly underneath the relevant party’s signature.

  5. Check that everything is in place before dating the deed: 

    1. Make sure the landlord has received the Tenant’s agreement to exclude security of tenure, which has been correctly signed by the tenant. Do not let date the lease or let the tenant move in until this has occurred.

    2. Check that the tenant has signed but not dated all other required documents (eg the Commercial Lease and any rent deposit deed, inventory, schedule of condition, or similar).

    3. Ensure that the landlord has the rent (if payable in advance) and any rent deposit they must be paid.

    4. Check that the landlord has the consent of any lenders to create the lease. 

  6. Date the lease. Enter the date in the space provided at the top of the Commercial Lease when you are ready to complete the lease. This date may be before the date that the tenancy will start (ie the date that the tenant can begin using the property, as specified within the Commercial Lease). If you want to arrange early occupancy (ie so the tenancy can use the property before the lease is signed and completed), Ask a lawyer for assistance. 

    1. If there’s a rent deposit deed, you can date this so it’s completed on the same date as the lease. 

Note that it is usually possible for deeds to be signed electronically, but if this is done, extra care must be taken to ensure all of the execution formalities for the particular type of deed are met. This deed is, therefore, designed to be signed by hand (ie wet-signed) to ensure that it is correctly executed (eg witnessed). 

For more information, read Execution of deeds.

An unsigned copy of your Commercial Lease will be stored automatically in your Rocket Lawyer account ‘Dashboard’.

Each owner should make sure to securely store their signed copy of the Commercial Lease and copies of any associated documents. 

The landlord should keep the original signed copy of the tenant’s agreement to exclude security of tenure. They should generally also keep a copy of any documents (eg notices) that they’ve given to the tenant.

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