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Lease and License Arrangements

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After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
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I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
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Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
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Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
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21 November, 23
Great Interaction
Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
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About

A lease is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. It grants a tenant the right to use the property for a specified period of time. A license arrangement works similarily.The key difference between a lease and a license arrangement is that the latter does not give the tenant the right to exclusive possession of the property.Next steps

How much does help with Lease and License Arrangements cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with Lease and License Arrangements is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £250-£300 but in some cases it could cost as much as £500.

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Lease and License Arrangements

Whether you’re a business owner seeking the perfect location to grow your operations or a property owner looking to maximize your investment, the terms of your agreement can have a big impact on your financial stability and business success.

In the UK, the distinctions between a lease and a license define the scope of your rights, responsibilities, and control over the property.

At Lawhive, we simplify the complexities of commercial property arrangements.

Our unique approach combines cutting-edge technology with expert legal services to provide you with tailored, affordable advice.

Whether you’re negotiating a new lease, drafting a license agreement, or seeking to resolve a dispute, our network of experienced commercial property lawyers is here to help.

Our solicitors have in-depth knowledge of UK property law and a wealth of experience handling lease and license arrangements.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation and discover how Lawhive can assist you with your lease or license arrangements.

What is a commercial lease?

A commercial lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant, where the tenant is granted the right to occupy and use commercial property for a specified period in exchange for rent.

This lease agreement outlines the terms and conditions under which the property is leased and establishes the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

What is a commercial property license?

A commercial property license is a contractual agreement that grants a licensee (the person or business using the property) permission to occupy and use a commercial space without providing them with exclusive possession.

Unlike a lease, a license is typically more flexible and does not confer a legal interest in the property.

It allows the licensee to use the property for specific purposes as outlined in the license agreement, but the property owner (licensor) retains overall control and can enter the premises at will.

What is the difference between a lease and a license?

Leases and licenses grant different levels of rights and responsibilities to the occupier of a property.

Here's a breakdown of the key differences:

A lease provides the tenant with exclusive possession of the property and grants a legal interest in the property for a specified period.

A license allows the licensee to use the property for specific purposes without granting exclusive possession and does not create a legal interest or estate in the property.

Duration and termination

Leases typically have a fixed duration, such as one year, five years, or more, and often include options for renewal or extension at the end of the term.

Licenses are generally more flexible and can be for short-term use, such as weeks or months. They can also be terminated with less formality, often requiring less notice than leases without significant penalties.

Control and usage

Under a lease, the tenant has significant control over the property, including the right to make certain modifications and use the property for any legal purpose specified in the lease.

Further, the landlord's ability to enter or use the property is limited, typically requiring notice and only for specified reasons.

Under a license, the licensor retains greater control over the property and can access it as needed. The licensee’s use of the property is often more restricted and must align with the specific terms set by the licensor.

Responsibility and maintenance

Leases often place significant maintenance and repair responsibilities on the tenant.

This can include routine upkeep, repairs, and sometimes even major renovations. The tenant may also be responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, and other operating expenses as part of the lease agreement.

With a license, the licensor usually retains responsibility for maintaining the property, and the licensee's financial obligations are typically limited to the license fee and any specific charges outlined in the license agreement.

Transferability

Leases often allow for assignment or subletting, giving the tenant the ability to transfer their interest to another party, subject to the landlord’s approval. Leases can also be sold or transferred, though usually with conditions or landlord consent.

Licenses are typically personal and can't be transferred or assigned to another party without the licensor’s permission. The rights granted under a license are usually specific to the licensee and are not intended to be sold or passed on.

Leases provide strong legal protections for tenants, including security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 for commercial leases in the UK, which gives tenants the right to renew the lease under certain conditions. Therefore, tenants can enforce their rights through legal action if the landlord breaches the lease terms.

Licenses do not provide the same security or legal protections as leases. Licensees can be asked to leave more easily and do not have the same statutory rights.

When does a commercial license become a lease?

If there is a dispute, courts will interpret the nature of the agreement based on the substance rather than the label, considering factors like exclusive possession, the nature of the control, and how the agreement is executed.

Legal precedents and how similar situations have been judged can also influence the interpretation.

What are the advantages of opting for a license agreement instead of a lease?

While a lease offers long-term stability and exclusive possession, a license provides a range of benefits that can be more suitable for businesses seeking short-term or flexible arrangements. Including:

  1. Greater flexibility

  2. Lower upfront and ongoing costs

  3. Simplified termination

  4. Fewer legal obligations and regulations

  5. Faster and simpler setup

  6. Suitability for short-term use

  7. Minimised long-term commitment.

Are license agreements shorter compared to leases?

Yes, license agreements are generally shorter in duration compared to leases.

This is one of the key characteristics that differentiate a license from a lease and often makes licenses more attractive for businesses or individuals seeking temporary or flexible use of a property.

How can a solicitor help with lease and license arrangements?

Leases can be particularly complex as they contain several clauses and conditions that can damage your business in the future if they are not shaped to your needs. 

Whether you’re a business owner looking to open a new premises or an experienced property investor it’s essential to get advice from an experienced property professional before signing any agreement.

With the help of a solicitor, you can be sure you understand all the terms and conditions of any property contract you are considering before signing it.

Whether an agreement is labeled as a lease or a license, when the characteristics of a lease are present a court will rule that a lease has been created.

Because of this, it is important to seek legal advice when obtaining or granting a lease or license to guarantee the agreement reflects your goals and protects you legally.

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How can I negotiate a commercial lease or license arrangement?

Whether you’re a tenant looking to lease office space or a licensee seeking a short-term license for a retail pop-up, effective negotiation can save costs, enhance flexibility, and provide legal protections.

Here are our top tips for the negotiation process for both commercial leases and licenses:

  1. Before entering negotiations, make sure you understand your requirements and priorities such as the desired length of the agreement and your need for flexibility.

  2. Compare rental or license fees of similar properties.

  3. Establish a budget that includes not only the rental or license fee but also other potential costs like utilities, maintenance, insurance, and taxes.

  4. Decide on your must-haves and deal breakers, as well as areas you're willing to compromise on, to guide your negotiation.

  5. Be willing to walk away from negotiations if the terms don't meet your needs.

  6. Engage a commercial property solicitor to review the agreement and assist with the negotiations.

Once negotiations are complete, you should make sure that everything you have agreed is documented in a formal written agreement.

Can a solicitor help me with lease or license disputes?

If a dispute arises relating to lease or license arrangements, a solicitor can provide a detailed explanation of the terms and conditions of your agreement, including your rights and obligations.

Furthermore, they can help you understand your options and the best course of action to resolve the issue. This may involve negotiation, mediation, or litigation depending on the situation.

If a dispute escalates to litigation, your solicitor can also provide full representation in court, handling all legal proceedings and advocating on your behalf.

Simply put, an experienced lease and license arrangements solicitor is equipped to handle all aspects of a dispute.

How can I be sure my commercial lease or license agreement is legally binding?

A legally binding lease or license agreement provides clear protection and outlines the rights and obligations of both parties, minimising the risk of disputes.

To be sure your lease or license is legally binding you should:

  • Get it in writing and make sure it clearly outlines all terms, conditions, and expectations;

  • Clearly identify the full legal names and addresses of all parties involved;

  • Include a precise and detailed description of the property;

  • Outline all terms and conditions of the agreement, including rent, duration, use restrictions, maintenance responsibilities, and renewal options;

  • Be signed and executed by all parties;

  • Include conflict resolution clauses;

  • Be registered with relevant authorities (if applicable).

A solicitor can review your agreement to make sure it is legally signed and aligned with your best interests. They can also identify potential issues and highlight any ambiguities or unfavourable terms.

Our solicitors offer in-depth knowledge of UK property law, helping you create and review agreements that are robust and enforceable.

Contact Lawhive today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your commercial property needs and ensure your lease or license agreement is legally binding.

Our network of commercial property lawyers are experts in all commercial property matters with extensive experience in helping landlords and tenants achieve their aims and assert their legal rights.

Our advice is designed with your needs in mind, we always give you advice that is in your best interest. 

We can help with:

  • Lease agreement drafting

  • Negotiation

  • Reviewing a lease

  • Dispute resolution

  • Legal advice

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to discuss your lease and license arrangements and get a personalised quote for the services of a specialist commercial property lawyer.

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