“I know the Landlord, he’s incredibly nice. We get on so well. The agent is really helpful too.”
How many times do I hear that?
My response to that is: I don’t doubt it. I know lots of very nice landlords too, not to mention their equally helpful agents but is that a reason to approach negotiation of the Heads of Terms of a lease any differently?
When a client instructs me to act on their behalf, then together it is our responsibility to negotiate in the best interests of the company. If we don’t thoroughly negotiate the Heads of Terms, confirmed in writing, we might be in for some surprises later, wasting hard-earned cash and even putting the success of the company at risk.
Of course, we can negotiate Heads of Terms in a civilised atmosphere of mutual respect and collaboration, but let’s not kid ourselves, the process of agreeing terms is fundamentally an adversarial one. We shouldn’t be diverted from our key objectives by existing relationships.
We should focus on the needs of the business as expressed in the business plan and as if the landlord is a complete stranger.
If we follow this course, our property strategy will guide us towards the Heads of Terms we are seeking and we will send a comprehensive agreement to the solicitors that will work for the business – and there you have it, a lease that works in the best interests of the business with no surprises!