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Saracen’s Guide to Renting Commercial Property in London

Saracen’s Guide to Renting Commercial Property in London

Saracen Interiors work with some of the best commercial estate agents in London, which means that we’re in a unique position to help our clients find the best properties for sale or rent in this world-class city. The truth is that we prefer to assist our clients form the earliest stage of possible when it comes to relocating offices or setting up new commercial space.

This approach allows us to ensure that our clients end up in a property that is truly well-suited to their needs. As a result, our clients end up happier than ever. And that means that we’re happier as well. To that end, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some of the main ideas to keep in mind when looking for space to rent or lease.

London: A Booming Commercial Property Market

London’s commercial property market is booming. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here in one of the world’s most important business hubs:

  • Office space
  • Shopfronts
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Warehouses

It’s all found within the greater metropolitan area. But finding the right property for your company or organization is easier said than done. Fortunately, Saracen is here to help simplify the process.

Should You Rent or Buy Commercial Property in London?

One of the first things you’ll have to consider when looking for commercial property in London is whether you would rather rent or lease the property. Both options are certainly available, and commercial estate agents in London like those that work with Saracen Interiors can help you make the best decision. In the end, it typically comes down to budget and the ability of your business model to withstand long-term pressures without relocating. 

But the vast majority of businesses are better served by a lease or rental agreement, as this allows them to set up shop and begin operations immediately without worrying about monthly cash flow or surprise expenses. After all, the down payment on any London-based commercial property is substantial.

Categories of Commercial Property for Rent in London

For the most part, property in London is available for as long – or as short – of a time as you require. If you’re looking for something truly short term (i.e. a few weeks or months), then you’ll probably be better served by a temporary or serviced office. But for anything longer, you’ll find lease agreements to suite your purposes.

When it comes to standard office lease agreements, you’ll find short- and long-term leases available:

  • Short-Term Office Lease: Conditions vary, but a short-term lease is generally considered to be anything that lasts between a few months and around three years. The tenant has relatively few obligations in terms of upkeep, repairs and maintenance. However, the landlord usually has no obligation to insure the property. Long-term leases can be broken through an agreed-upon clause that applies to both parties.
  • Long-Term Commercial Lease: For most companies, a long-term lease is going to be more practical. In most cases, the monthly payment is more affordable, and lease terms last anywhere from three to 25 years. A lease of this nature is suitable for whole buildings, but can also be applied to parts of buildings or even individual units. The landlord may see to maintenance of the building in general (depending on the lease), but the tenant usually takes care of maintenance and some repairs.

Clauses and Caveats Attached to Commercial Leases in London

Every lease will have its own set of terms, clauses and caveats that should be well-understood before signing on the bottom line. These are some of the key clauses to look for in a commercial lease:

  • Deposit: verify how much of a deposit is required in advance of the lease.
  • Maintenance: always be certain what level of maintenance is required of you, the tenant; this could include cleaning of external areas in addition to general upkeep of the property.
  • Service charge: check to see whether a service charge is applicable; if so, this should considerations such as security, energy use, cleaning and more.
  • Dilapidation clause: the tenant may be required to compensate the property owner for dilapidation of the property, depending upon the terms of the lease. 
  • Break clause: know which party is allowed to break the lease, and under what circumstances.

Furthermore, there are certain expenses that you can count on having to pay if you’re planning on renting commercial property in London. Most of these are obvious, but some may be less well-known to first time commercial renters:

  • Monthly rent
  • Utilities
  • Service charges (for the building or complex)
  • Business rates
  • Stamp duty

Obligations for Commercial Renters in London

In addition to paying your monthly rent and keeping up with expenses, there are certain other obligations that you’ll be expected to keep up with. It’s worth noting that you may not be required to tend to all of the below. In some cases, the landlord or even their property manager may take care of some of these. But in every case, the inclusion of further obligations should be taken into account when reviewing a lease agreement:

  • Maintenance: there will always be some level of maintenance that the renter is required to see to; however, the scope and depth of maintenance will vary from one agreement to the next.
  • Assessment risks: this has to do with meeting the minimum standards for a workplace under the local jurisdiction.
  • Safety: this applies to hazard including gas, fire and electrical equipment; you may be required to train staff in handling certain emergencies, as well.
  • Health: tenants will be expected to maintain certain health standards in relation to waste, facilities, sanitation and temperature.

Always review your lease to ensure you understand all of the clauses and additional liability issues that you, the tenant, are expected to absorb. This will affect the all-in operating cost of occupying the property.

Contact Saracen for Commercial Property Advice in London

If you’re interested in renting commercial property in London, contact Saracen Interiors today and let us help guide you through the process. With our experts in your corner, you’ll find your way to a property that’s perfectly suited to your purposes, brand and budget.


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