The Council's business units are managed by the Council's Commercial Property section. The lease sets out the rights and obligations of the Council, as landlord, and yourself, as tenant. By entering into a lease for a fixed term both parties are committing themselves to be responsible for complying with the obligations under the lease for the period in question.
Under the terms of the lease rent will be payable, usually monthly or quarterly in advance. Invoices will be sent by the Council's Revenues Section which should be paid on or before the date set out in the lease. Provision can be made for you to pay as follows:
- By standing order
- By debit or credit card via the 24 hour Revenues payment line on 08453 726173 (This call will cost you 3 pence per minute plus your phone company's access charge)
- Using our online payment system
- Through your own online banking system provided by your bank
If rent is not paid on the due date, under the terms of the lease interest may be payable on the rent arrears and the lease may be taken back or forfeited.
Service charges may by payable under the terms of the lease. Services provided vary depending on the nature of the property but they may include external repairs, maintenance of landscaped areas, cleaning of common areas, redecorating external areas and security provisions.
For most of the Council's units, service charges are estimated for the year and the appropriate sum collected with the rent. After the year end the tenant will be provided with a service charge statement which sets out the actual expenditure which has been incurred by the landlord together with the balance due from or refundable to the tenant.
The lease sets out who is responsibility for arranging the insurance of the property. The Council will typically insure the building against the risks set out in the lease with the premium being recoverable from the tenant.
The lease sets out who is responsible for repairs to the property. Where a tenant agrees to keep property in repair this will usually include an obligation to put the property into good repair, even if the disrepair existed at the beginning of the lease.
Any repair that you consider is a responsibility of the Council should be reported to the Estates section as soon as possible.
The lease defines what the unit can be used for and will impose an obligation on the occupier to conform to planning legislation. Therefore, it is important that you ensure that your proposed use of the unit is permitted both under the terms of the lease and planning legislation. The Council's Planning Management will be able to give you advice regarding any planning aspects.
Dependent on the nature of the alteration consent may be required under the terms of the lease, the Building Regulations and /or the Planning Acts. Should you wish to make any alterations to the unit please write to the Council's Commercial Property section, giving full details together with any necessary plans
Any alterations to the electrical systems must be carried out by a qualified electrician who has a current Certificate of Enrollment from the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC). Following any alterations to the electrical systems a copy of the Electrical Guarantee Certificate should be forwarded to the Council's Estates section.
Any alterations to the gas fittings must be carried out by a competent contractor, as defined by Health & Safety Executive and the Council of Registered Gas Installers (Gas Safe Registration) laid down in the document "The Criteria for Qualifications, Training and Experience of Gas Fitting Operatives", published by Gas Safe Registration. Following any alterations to the gas fittings, a copy of the Gas Test Form should be forwarded to the Council's Commercial Property section.
Termination of the lease
The Council's leases are generally for a fixed period and cannot be brought to an end before the end of that period. However, a tenant may assign the lease. An assignment takes place when the tenant transfers to another person the rights and obligations within the lease for the remaining period of the lease. Typically the lease will permit the assignment of the lease with the Council's consent.
Most business tenancies fall within the statutory provisions of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954. The Act provides that a lease will continue automatically beyond the fixed term unless or until it is terminated in one of the ways laid down in the Act. Once the fixed term of the lease has expired the tenant usually has to give three months' notice in writing to terminate the lease.
At the end of the lease the Council will undertake an inspection of the premises to ensure that all the terms within the lease have been complied with. If repairing or alteration covenants have been breached, this is likely to lead to an action against the tenant to recover any cost incurred by the Council in repairing or reinstating the Unit.
Health and safety
Tenants are responsible for complying with fire and health and safety legislation in respect of the premises they occupy and the activities conducted therein.
Information in relation to health and safety at work and fire legislation can be obtained below.