What should a tenant’s solicitor do? Although each transaction within the commercial property is unique, we do follow standard steps when acting for a tenant and these are summarised in the steps below:
- Tenant’s solicitor opens a file and ‘take instructions’
At the start of each instruction we will require you to:
- Verify your identity;
- Supply evidence of the origin of funds to be used in the transaction;
- Provide heads of terms setting out the terms agreed between parties.
- Contact the landlord’s solicitors
We will contact the landlord’s solicitors to:
- Confirm we act in relation to the proposed lease;
- Verify the heads of terms;
- Request draft documentation.
- Due diligence and pre-contract enquiries
Our role is to investigate the property and this is known as ‘due diligence’. We will review the draft lease and any ancillary documents.
A review of the draft lease will often initiate enquiries about the property, which we will raise the with landlord’s solicitors. The landlord’s solicitor will obtain the replies and we will consult with you at this stage with regards to any issues.
- Property searches
We generally recommend a number of searches are carried out on the property. These include:
- Local Authority search
- Water & drainage search
- Environmental search
If you wish, we can obtain an estimate of costs for these before searches are ordered.
- Review the draft documentation
Our role is to review the lease and any other ancillary papers in its draft form and where possible, make amendments to the wording in order to reduce/limit the tenant’s liability. Several emails and correspondence may be required in order to reach a compromise with the landlord’s solicitor.
Once we have completed our due diligence of the property and the negotiations of the documents, we will report on our investigations and provide you with the papers for signature.
- Tenant’s solicitor and landlord’s solicitor complete the lease
Once we are holding the signed papers, and the landlord’s solicitors holds their papers, we will be able to complete. The completion of the lease (and any supplementary documents) takes place by both solicitors over the telephone. Once the documents are completed, we will advise you accordingly.
- Carry out post-completion matters
Following completion, we will send your signed document(s) to the landlord’s solicitors and where necessary, submit a return for Stamp Duty Land Tax and register the lease at the Land Registry. Once registered, we will let you know.