We’re experts in commercial law, and have a long track record of providing wise advice to businesses of all sizes and types. 

Our connections with family businesses are particularly strong.

By really getting to know our clients, their businesses and people we’ve developed relationships that have grown and matured across generations.

When you’re running a business you’re affected by all sorts of laws and legislation. We make sure you have the right solutions, tailored precisely to your needs.

If you’re buying or selling a business we use our in-depth knowledge and experience to guide you through every step.

And when it comes to business premises we are specialists in dealing with commercial property whether buying, selling, leasing or sub-letting.

Leases and leasing

Every business owner is likely to sign a lease at some point.

And if you own and let commercial property you need to make sure you have a lease that protects you and your investment. 

However, leases can be complex.

For example, a lease could state the building is “in good, substantial and tenantable repair”. That does not guarantee the roof or gutters have been recently inspected or the building is free from problems.  

Since a lease sets out a legal and financial relationship, it’s vital to know who you are dealing with before you start. 

Tenants want to know their landlord is reasonable to deal with, and landlords want to know the tenant will pay the rent on time and keep the premises in good order.

That’s why you need a solicitor like Sturrock, Armstrong & Thomson to identify fact from fiction and highlight any risks or liabilities you might face.

Standard lease clauses

A lease can be a long document running to 30 pages or more.
As well as covering terms such as the rent, it will have clauses that set out:

  • Use what the premises can be used for
  • Repair obligations ­– the standards to which the tenant must keep the property
  • Decoration – the obligations on the tenant to keep decoration up to standard
  • Alterations – what changes a tenant can and cannot make to the property
  • Costs – who pays if the tenant wants to sell the lease, make alterations to the property, or change its use
  • Insurance ­– who insures the building, who pays the premium and what happens if there is an insurance claim
  • Alienation – what happens if a tenant decides to sell his/her business
  • Rent review – provisions for regular rent review. Any lease longer than five years will usually have this
  • Planning and legislation – how the tenant must comply with all and any legislation, including new legislation brought out during the lease
  • Irritancy – this is particular to Scots law and relates to failures on part of the tenant. You need to know what it means 
  • Termination – what is expected of the tenant at the end of the lease.

Due diligence for leases

If you’re a potential tenant, before you take on a lease it's vital to obtain as much information as you can. Independent reports and surveys are essential. These should include:

  • An asbestos report to comply with the Control of Asbestos Regulations
  • An electrical report (EICNIC) to make sure the electrics in the property are up to standard
  • A copy of the landlord’s Title and Legal Search to make sure you know the extent of what you are leasing and that all necessary parties have been consulted to make your lease valid.

The commercial world is complicated and mistakes can be costly in all sorts of ways. We're here to make sure you don't suffer.

“Our industry has gone through consolidation in recent years and this created opportunities for us to acquire similar businesses. Sturrock, Armstrong and Thomson were able to advise us through the acquisition process on several occasions. They were very reactive to last minute changes and were always available to ensure deadlines were met.”

Nathans Wastesavers

Contact us today for a no-obligation quotation or to talk to one of our solicitors.

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