New RICS code for leasing business premises

We’ve worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in pan-industry discussion between representatives of landlords, tenants and other professional bodies to develop a code for leasing business premises (1st edition).

The code was published in February 2020.

The objective is to:

  • improve the quality and fairness of negotiations on lease terms
  • promote the issue of comprehensive heads of terms that should make the legal drafting process more efficient

The statement and code do not prescribe the outcome but seek to make it fair and balanced by:

  • identifying the terms that are usually important
  • encouraging both parties to obtain advice from property professionals

This enables negotiations to proceed properly so that each party can make an informed decision about whether to proceed on the terms that they negotiate.

The updates aim to assist RICS members in making sure that landlords, tenants and guarantors who they’re advising have a clear understanding of the commitments that they’re entering into.

The code is supplemented by detailed guidance notes for landlords and tenants explaining many of the issues, including comments on common lease provisions.

The lease code and the accompanying template heads of terms and checklist should be used as a reminder for negotiations before the grant of a new lease and at the time of any lease renewal.

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