Hybrid Working & Commercial Lease Negotiation Post-Covid
When Covid forced non-essential retail and offices to close, commercial centres were changed overnight. People moved away from business and retail hubs into online shopping and home working.
Businesses have had to rapidly respond to this changing situation.
Employers of office-based businesses soon discovered the potential for increased productivity through home working. Home working or at least hybrid home and office working is here to stay but it is not viable for many businesses to free themselves from commercial lease liabilities altogether. In addition, many younger employees who do not have spacious suitable home working arrangements and need close supervision and support wish to return to the office.
Businesses are having to experiment with different working practices allowing the mixture of home and office working. The need to protect the identity of businesses, social interaction and where relevant collaborative working, means the office remains at the heart of most businesses.
It is likely that to accommodate the hybrid approach to work, not to mention improvements to the employee experience to aid recruitment in such challenging times, changes to the layout of offices will be required and any employers considering this should ensure that alterations are done in accordance with the terms of their commercial leases. Unless minor and non-structural, it is likely that landlord’s consent is required and in order to avoid potential breach and the works being rentalised at rent review, tenants need to proceed with caution, using the guidance of a commercial property solicitor
Our commercial property solicitors can advise on the relevant commercial lease requirements and negotiate the necessary licence for alterations with your landlord.
Another impact of the pandemic which we have seen is a huge growth in the warehousing sector due to online purchases and deliveries. This has resulted in the demand for warehouse space outstripping supply in some areas, leaving tenants negotiating against higher rents and inflexible commercial lease terms.
It is a little different though with retail, as office closures have impacted footfall leaving landlords finding it difficult to fill their vacant retail space. This has resulted in landlords accepting more tenant friendly terms for a commercial lease, including greater flexibility with break clauses, alongside turnover based rent reviews.
Our skilled team of commercial property solicitors are experienced in acting for both landlords and tenants of retail and industrial premises and can provide expert advice with commercial lease negotiation. If you’d like advice on any commercial property matters, please get in contact with David Stone on 01752 203557 or email david.stone@GAsolicitors.com.