Lease Advisory

Aligning commercial leases with business and financial goals

Getting the most commercial benefit out of your lease, whether you are an occupier, landlord or investor, is vital.

But understanding the intricacies of the commercial lease and your contractual obligations, can be difficult, particularly if a dispute arises.

Our lease advisory experts work with occupiers and landlords across the UK to navigate these complexities, providing strategic advice from pre-contract negotiations and rent reviews, to lease renewal and exit strategy.

We represent clients on all types of commercial property from offices and industrial, to retail, marine and leisure, with particular expertise in the aviation and trade counter sectors.

We are also experienced in resolving disputes, and will act as Expert Witness in independent expert, arbitration and Court proceedings, as well as representing clients at mediation.

Understanding the intricacies of the commercial lease and your contractual obligations, can be difficult, particularly if a dispute arises.

Occupiers

As an occupier of commercial property, we understand the burden that your commercial property can represent, and the importance of keeping occupation costs to a minimum.

We will work closely with you to understand your strategic business aims and will identify opportunities to minimise your property overheads. Drawing on our in-depth market knowledge and technical expertise, we will then ensure your lease(s) are aligned with your business objectives.

Thanks to the technical expertise of Vail Williams’ lease advisory team, we were able to ensure business security by renewing both our leases for a further 10 years, whilst successfully reducing the rent demanded at both premises. A positive outcome all round.

Richard Gaff, Operations Director, Flight Logistics Group Ltd.
Pre-contract advice

Before entering into a lease agreement, it is important to understand the terms of the contract. 

Are you committing to the right property and does the lease agreement align with your business needs? Are you happy with the break conditions the landlord is proposing, and do you understand the potential impact of these at lease break?

It is easier to negotiate at this stage and we will help you to navigate this process, to get the best possible deal.

Rent review

We understand that your business premises represent your single biggest overhead after your people. That is why effective rent review negotiations are so important, particularly in the context of ‘upward-only rent review’ clauses.

Rent reviews give you the opportunity to have a discussion with your landlord to alter your existing lease terms. 

We will carry out rent review negotiations on your behalf, to minimise your property overheads over the term of your lease.

Should a dispute arise, our experienced advisers will contest the rent review, acting as Expert Witness on your behalf to resolve the issue.

Lease renewal

If you want to renew your lease, we will steer you through this process, securing the most favourable renewal terms. 

We will work with you to develop and implement a lease renewal strategy to complement your business aims, balancing rental costs with other requirements such as flexibility, security and cashflow. 

We are also experienced in acting as Expert Witness on your behalf to resolve disputes, with expert advice on Professional Arbitration on Court Terms (PACT) and mediation.

Lease restructure

Lease restructuring allows you and your landlord to redefine the terms of your relationship, from the length of the unexpired term and timing of lease breaks, to the settlement of outstanding lease events.

This is a mutual negotiation, so it is important to ensure that your interests are represented by a professional. We will work your landlord to achieve the best possible compromise, whilst protecting your business interests.

Lease exit

It is important to think about your lease exit strategy well in advance of your lease expiring, so you can find new premises, manage your exit, and ensure a smooth transition into your new premises at lease end. 

Drawing on expertise from across our business, we can help you to manage this process, from negotiating your dilapidations position, to sourcing and securing your new premises. 

“We are grateful for the market knowledge that Vail Williams brought to our rent review, and the perseverance with which they fought our case, which resulted in them successfully reducing the amount of rental uplift by over 90%.”

Ricky McCracken, Commercial and Legal Director, Pulsant Limited.

Landlords / Investors

We understand that property is your business, and that performance is vital to ensure a good return on your investment. 

Whether your focus is income security, tenant retention or maximising income, lease advisory experts can provide tailored advice throughout the lifecycle of your commercial lease(s).  

We will find the most commercially beneficial approach to meet your strategic needs, and will negotiate lease terms to achieve the best possible outcome. 

Vail Williams has been our principal lease advisory surveyors for our Thames Valley portfolio, which includes the Slough Trading Estate, since 2010. I have really appreciated both their market and technical knowledge in achieving the right result, whilst ensuring that we maintain a positive ongoing relationship with our customers. We have had some impressive results over the years as a result of working together.

Carol Rix MRICS, Senior Asset Manager, SEGRO Plc
Pre-contract advice

Before entering into a lease agreement with a tenant, it is important to ensure that certain commitments are fit for purpose – both for now, and the future. Getting this right at the start will maximise your investment over the duration of the lease. Whether you are purchasing an investment or agreeing a new lease, we can advise on how any lease will affect your investment in the future, including rent review and break clauses.

Rent review

Rent reviews are a good opportunity to maximise the return on your invested capital over the term of a lease. We will work with you to successfully implement these, using our commercial approach to negotiation, together with in-depth market knowledge and a technical understanding of lease construction and case law, to secure the best outcome. We understand that a rent review can disrupt the longer-term landlord and tenant relationship. Where tenants are alive to compromise, we will proactively identify lease restructure opportunities as part of our broader asset management initiatives. We can also act on your behalf as an Expert Witness to resolve any disputes in rent review proceedings.

Lease renewal

An expiring commercial lease can bring both risk and opportunity for landlords and investors, which is why we provide expert advice to help maximise asset value and income security. We will develop and implement your asset management strategy in line with your investment aims and risk appetite, balancing rental income with income security. We are also experienced in acting as Expert Witness on your behalf to resolve disputes, advising on Professional Arbitration on Court Terms (PACT) and mediation.

Lease restructure

Lease restructuring gives both you and your tenants the opportunity to redefine the terms of your relationship, from the length of the unexpired term and timing of lease breaks, to settlement of outstanding lease events. This is a mutual process and we will work with your tenant to negotiate a compromise, whilst protecting your interests and retaining occupancy.

Lease exit

It is important to think about your tenant’s exit well in advance of lease expiry so you can identify a new tenant if necessary. Drawing on the expertise of our agency and building consultancy teams, we can help you to manage this process, from negotiating your dilapidations position, to sourcing and securing new premises.