If I had as many pounds as times I have heard that said…
When you have worked in any business sector long enough, you have a mental list of things you hear told or said, time and time again. For me, one such saying is: “Oh! It’s OK. My landlord is really friendly. He is very fair. He wouldn’t stitch me up. We have a really good relationship”.
The subtext is: I don’t need to bother too much about the actual lease terms I sign up to because we are best mates and he won’t apply those nasty terms to me.”
Of course, when this statement is made to stand up on its own, it is almost too obvious to mention, that the speaker is making a massive mistake or, at the very least, taking a huge commercial risk on behalf of the company he owns or is employed by.
The truth, obvious as it may be to others, is that not even the most benevolent landlord is going to put a lease together and then compromise the performance of its own investment to fortify a friendship.
The harsher and less predictable truth is that our benevolent landlord may choose to sell his investment one day. It is then prudent to assume that the new owner will apply and interpret the terms of any lease as rigorously and fully as the law allows.
A few hours and £s judiciously spent, before the lease is signed, learning and understanding the full meaning and implications of the words in a lease, will improve everything.
The landlord and tenant relationship will be more balanced and the business owner will know what his liabilities, duties and costs are going to be, from start to finish. If there should be a dispute, our prudent business owner will know his strengths (and let’s be realistic) his weaknesses in the argument to follow.