In July 2012, the RICS released a lease intended for small shop premises.  Its features include:

·      Maximum term of 5 years

·      All inclusive rental

·      Limited repairing obligation qualified by Schedule of Condition

·      Arbitration for disputes through the RICS Dispute Resolution Scheme

·      Landlord Covenant to repair the fabric of the building

·      Prohibition on alterations (except for internal shop fittings)

·      Tenant Break Clause

·      Monthly rental

·      Rent Deposit built in

Like most common form of leases, it is particularly useful in short term leases with lower value rental.  In practice it is rarely going to be usable without amendment of some type.  The readiness of the parties to accept the standard form without significant amendment will appreciably affect the amount of legal work necessary to make the lease suitable for use.  However, it seems unlikely that anything but the legally trained Landlord or Tenant will be able to successfully use it, particularly as statutory notices will still be required in order to exempt the lease from the all important security of tenure provisions contained in the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954.

For further enquiries speak to Simon Walker or Tom Mitchell on 01264 363354 of see www.rics.org/smallbusinesslease