Generally speaking warehouse and light industrial premises are available on full repair and insure leases. This provides that once you take possession of a unit, you are responsible for all the running costs, maintenance, repair and redecoration of the unit for the duration of the lease, according to the terms of that lease. A licence agreement is an agreement that usually applies to flexible space such as a serviced office or storage space.
How long does an agreement last?
A typical lease would be for 5 or 10 years (or longer if required) although in some circumstances a 3 year option may be available. A licence to occupy is generally for a specified term of up to 1 year.
Who is responsible for paying the utility bills?
In a lease arrangement, the leaseholder (occupier) is responsible for all utilities and therefore should check the meter readings upon taking over the property and verify these with the relevant supplier. In a licence agreement the cost of utilities is usually included within the rent (although not exclusively). Please check with the landlord of the facility that you propose to occupy space in.
Who is responsible for business rates on the property?
In the case of a leasehold property, the leaseholder (occupier) is always responsible for the business rates. Where the agreement is a licence, this can either be the landlord or the leaseholder and you should check in each case. Typically, in serviced office space, the occupier is responsible for the business rates on the space they occupy.
What is the difference between rateable value and rates payable and how is this calculated?
The best place to find out about business rates is via the website Businessrates.gov.uk
What is a service charge?
Most business parks and industrial estates make a service charge which is your annual contribution to the general upkeep of the common parts of the estate that you have taken space on (for example, roads, drains, street lighting).It is additional to the rent. Business centres providing serviced office space typically include this in the rental payment that you make, rather than charge it separately. To be certain it is best to clarify this in advance.