Commercial Property FAQs
July 20, 2021

Here are some answers to questions we are commonly asked by landlords and tenants of commercial property:

Can I change the use of a commercial property?

Yes, subject to obtaining planning permission. For the purpose of planning, uses of commercial property are separated into ‘use classes.’ Planning permission is required from the Local Authority when changing one use class to another. Further information can be found from the following link:

When is permission required? – GOV.UK (

Does my commercial lease need to be registered?

Certain leases including all new leases granted on or after 13 October 2003 for a term of more than seven years are compulsorily registrable with HM Land Registry. Some leases cannot be registered, for example, new leases for a term of three years or less (and which are not otherwise required to be registered). Here is a link to the Government’s practice guide containing information about when to register leases:

Practice guide 25: leases – when to register – GOV.UK (

How can I get out of the lease?

There are a number of ways that a lease can come to an end including: by agreement of the parties; by effluxion of time; by the valid exercise of a break clause in the lease; by forfeiture and by order of the Court.

As alternatives to terminating a lease, a tenant might, with the landlord’s approval, consider trying to assign the lease to someone else or to sub-let the premises. Some limited information is available from the following link but we would recommend that you take legal advice if you are considering trying to end a lease or end your obligations under a lease as there are pitfalls to watch out for.

Ending a commercial property lease early – GOV.UK (

What are the most important terms to look out for in a lease agreement for business premises?

Key terms in a lease include the term (ie the duration of the lease), whether there is any security of tenure; what flexibility there is to vacate the premises before the lease comes to an end, the costs involved such as rent and service charges, who bears responsibility for repair and maintenance, what restrictions there are on making alterations and what types of business the premises can be used for.

Who is responsible for repairing and maintaining our leasehold property?

This will depend on the details of the lease.

Do I have to pay Stamp Duty on a Commercial Lease?

Yes, depending on the level of rent and the length of the lease. Here is a link that contains useful information:

Stamp Duty Land Tax Calculator

Contact our Landlord & Tenant Solicitors

If you require any specific advice or assistance about any of the issues referred to in this blog or any other commercial property or lease issues, please contact Muscatt Black Graf by telephone on 0207 586 1141 or by email to, or fill in our online contact form.

This blog was prepared on 20 July 2021. It is not intended to be advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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