Moving Office Legal Checklist
Companies need to be aware that there are certain legal issues surrounding an office relocation that are paramount to the ongoing success of a business. This Moving Office Legal Checklist will cover some of those areas, but as no two office moves are ever the same, it is absolutely crucial to seek professional advice from a Commercial Property Solicitor in order to protect your company’s commercial interests.
Dig out your existing office lease and give to a Property Solicitor so they can see what options are available to you to exit your current property.
Find out what notice to you need to serve to end your existing office lease and how should it be served?
Once you have found a suitable new office property, give a copy of the Draft Office Lease to your Property Solicitor. They will assess the office lease against the following:
- Whether the length of the lease is appropriate for your business needs
- Whether there are any options to break the lease and your entitlement to an extension of the lease on expiry
- The full details of your expected costs (both fixed and variable) including service charges, utilities, insurance, repairs etc.
- The basis on which the rent can be changed
- Your tenant responsibilities for maintaining and repairing the premises
- Whether all the things that are important to your business have been accurately reflected and documented in the lease.
Several drafts of the lease are likely to exchanged between you and the Landlord at this point, so before to factor in plenty of time for these negotiations.
Read through the final version of the Office Lease yourself, whilst you may not necessarily be clued up to all the legal jargon, you do need to understand what you are committing to. Ask your Property Solicitor for any clarifications.
Before you exit your existing property you will need to carry out dilapidations and repairs. The extent of this will be documented in your office lease.
Get a copy of the contracts you have issued to your employees and ask a Property Solicitor to check whether there are any Employment Legal Issues that need to be addressed. Some Employment Contracts may not contain a Mobility Clause which means they will need employee’s agreement before moving office.
Making any redundancies? Ensure these are handled correctly from a legal perspective with a Property Solicitor.
Once you have signed the office lease and moved in to your new office, there may be other ongoing issues that may arise, so it is important to form an ongoing relationship with your Property Solicitor to ensure you have a happy, secure and successful tenure in your new office.
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