JOINT WORKSHOP WITH ETHICAL PROPERTY FOUNDATION and Anthony Collins Solicitors – Negotiating and Managing Property Leases: understand the ins and outs of your premises lease to help your organisation thrive
On Tuesday 3rd October, Ian Parker, Property Advisor, Ethical Property Foundation and Dominic Curran, lawyer, Anthony Collins Solicitors, delivered a very interactive, informative and practical workshop on the ins and outs of taking on a lease and some of the common property issues to consider and risks of taking on a lease.
Taking on a lease of business premises is a big commitment for a small charity or community organisation and its trustees who could find themselves personally liable. Whether entering into a new lease or taking over existing lease, it was made very clear it is important to understand the main provisions of a commercial lease and to be clear on your obligations going forward. Dominic Curran in particular highlighted some of the key clauses in a lease agreement to consider as a lay person with limited knowledge of lease agreements. This means looking critically at what is on offer with respect to its cost and the risk that it presents to the charity. He also outlined some of the key stages that an organisation needs to put in place that could save costs. One of the key stages is the need to first be clear what exactly you want in a property that fits in with your service and operational requirements, budget and longer term funding position. This can save on the costs of the level and length of legal advice you may require. Charity trustees must ensure that the charity gets value for money; that any expected costs can insofar as practicable be estimated; and that any risks are manageable. For many leases there may be no specific clauses on repair and dilapidaption . Yet these can be the biggest risk of financial loss at the end of a lease. A copy of the presentation can be found here.
Ian Parker, highlighted some of the pitfalls that organisations can face in negotiating leases, as both the initial negotiations and final document can be complicated. Practical case studies were provided for participants to jointly work through to identify what they would view as pitfalls and risks. If you’d like more detailed information relating to Ian’s presentation, then you can join the Ethical Property Foundation, which is free and can be found on website here.
A jargon buster can be found here.
The Ethical Property Foundation is sole referral partner to the Charity Commission for land & property advice