While both the property and the retail sectors of the British economy are still feeling the impact of the credit crunch and of an economy barely out of recession, the availability of properties combined with significant financial incentives provide opportunities for investors and tenants alike to upgrade their commercial and retail property portfolio on very competitive terms. However, there are some market differentiations, with London remaining more active than some regional centres, smaller cities and market towns; and city centre locations regaining favour over out of town locations and shopping malls.
Yet, despite the importance of the property sector for the British economy, there is no single legal source governing commercial property transactions in England and Wales. Rather, property law consists of a complex system of laws, regulations, voluntary codes of practice, standard terms of contract and case law. Key Acts of Parliament affecting commercial property transactions include the Law of Property Act 1925, the Land Registration Acts 1925 and 2002, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 and the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.
The parties to a property transaction may contract out of certain legislative provisions, such as those in relation to security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, whereas other provisions are compulsory in all transactions. Primary legislation is complemented by implementing secondary legislation, such as, for example, the Land Registry Rules. The government’s voluntary Code of Practice for Commercial Leases is intended to establish minimum standards of practice within the property industry, and to protect weaker tenants. An additional layer of complexity is added by a large (and growing) body of case law, interpreting both statute law and lease terms. Furthermore, commercial property transactions often refer to standard documents devised by the Law Society and by the property industry.
At Klein Solicitors we are experiencing strong growth in our property practice driven by client demand. Our growing reputation in this sector is based on our established track-record of bringing deals to a successful conclusion and helping our clients to achieve their commercial objectives. Business premises are a key asset for many businesses and we give your instructions the attention and focus which they deserve. Whether it is about meeting deadlines or seamless communication, our clients have come to value the professional excellence with which we consistently deliver our services.
From a short license for occupation of serviced offices to the acquisition of a flagship store on London’s Oxford Street, we guide clients effectively, proactively and cost efficiently through the complex legal issues that can arise in property transactions towards a solution which meets their specific business needs. Wherever we advise or represent clients, we carefully assess and advise on the risks associated with each individual transaction and identify ways of mitigating those risks. We strive for clarity and avoid archaic legalese wherever possible to ensure that the legal process and documentation remain accessible to our clients.
We have particular experience in the retail sector but in fact our commercial property practice provides a comprehensive range of transactional and dispute resolution services to a wide range of clients from across industry sectors, including in the following areas:
- Acquisition, management and disposal of freehold and leasehold interests
- Landlord and tenant matters, including rent reviews and service charges
- Parent or group company guarantees
- Development, planning and construction
- Underleases and assignments
- Environmental and health and safety issues
- Land registration
- Shop fitting, alteration works and dilapidations
- Insurance coverage
Where necessary, we work closely with independent tax experts to ensure that clients receive best advice on the tax implications of their property transactions, from issues of stamp duty land tax payable on property acquisitions and VAT on building works, to identifying and devising the most appropriate investment vehicles. Our close relationship with trusted property consultants, planners, surveyors, and other property professionals enable us to add value to the services which we provide by drawing together the expertise required on a case-by-case basis to ensure that our clients’ requirements and expectations are met.
Our expertise in commercial and retail property is closely linked with our construction and engineering projects practice. Please let us know if your interest relates to these specific areas. We will always be pleased to discuss your legal issues and requirements with you on an informal basis before accepting instructions. Please contact Gregor Kleinknecht on +44 (0)207 958 9080 or by e-mail to email@example.com for further information.