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Commercial property renting guide

commercial renting guide

Our guide to renting commercial property provides professional advice and information about the key factors to consider at the start of your search such as: location, costs and contract negotiation as well as information about what you need to provide to ensure you can rent the commercial property you want.

1. Let us know you are looking for a property to rent

The first step to finding the right commercial property is by letting us know what you are looking for. Contact our commercial team or register your property search requirements online with us. We will either contact you by phone or send you email updates when properties that fit your search criteria are available.

2. Start your property search

3. Finding a suitable commercial property

There are a number of factors to consider before starting your commercial property search. Not only do you need to consider current and foreseeable business requirements, but you need to prioritise what’s most important to your business:

  • What type? Office space, industrial space or retail outlets?
  • What size do you need? Do you require lifts to serve all floors?
  • What impression does the commercial property need to give to your clients, customers, suppliers and potential staff?
Start now: View all commercial properties to rent
Contact our commercial team on 01494 680909

4. Choose the right location for your business

The Frost Partnership area guides provide further information on the areas in which we operate; South Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Middlesex. All the areas offer excellent railway and motorway transport links to London, Reading and Heathrow airport.

Choosing a suitable location for your business is a key factor to get right as it affects the suitability of a property for your business, clients, customers and employees.Have you considered whether you need to be located in a business or retail park, industrial estate or in the middle of the town?

Other considerations may include:

  • Parking or parking restrictions for employees, clients or suppliers
  • Delivery times or restrictions
  • Easy access to public transport links
  • Attracting passing trade/ footfall

Contact The Frost Partnership. Our commercial agents have local knowledge and insight about up-and-coming properties that might be ideal for your business.

5. Commercial property class and business use

Commercial properties are covered by The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 as amended - which divides commercial premises and land into different use class categories. Make sure you know which class you are looking for or contact The Frost Partnership for more information.

Table 1: Commercial property and use class.

Table 2: Commercial property use class types that can be changed to accommodate other use class types without the need for the landlord to apply for planning permission.

6. Costs involved

Once you have found the ideal property to rent, your agent will be able to provide you with further details about the costs specific to that property.

A typical sample of costs include:

  • Deposit. In order to secure a commercial property the landlord will normally request references from the potential tenants. If your business is a start up or relatively new it might be wise to have a guarantor for your rent and other liabilities or a rental guarantee, such as a cash deposit between 6-12 months in rent paid, held by the landlord for the duration of the lease. The landlord would draw against this if rent is not paid on time or the property is returned to the landlord at end of the lease in a bad condition.
  • Professional adviser fees (agents, solicitors, surveyors etc.).
  • Local searches, if applicable. By appointing a solicitor to carry out local searches, you will discover the property's current and historic condition, building history, potential nearby developments, contaminated land and any other issues that might interfere with your business and the property you are about to rent.
  • Stamp duty land tax on commercial leases range from 0% on properties up to £150,000. All rental values over £150,000 require the tenant to pay 1 percent of the exceeded £150,000 value
  • Business rates, if applicable.
  • VAT, if applicable.

7. Offer to rent a commercial property

When you have found the right property for your business, we will help to negotiate your offer and terms of contract. It is worth noting that not until the contracts are signed and completed will the property be withdrawn from the market. However, by placing a firm offer and providing references it might influence the landlord.

8. Exchange of contracts and completion

Once both the tenant and the landlord are content with the contract, surveys and inspections and the required funds have been transferred and accepted by the landlord – the property is officially yours to move into on the date specified on the lease.

9. Schedule of Condition

A Schedule of Condition report details the exact condition of the property on the day you move into it. Generally this entails detailed photographic images that are attached to the lease and acknowledged by both parties. If you are not renting a new building the schedule of condition report can be highly beneficial to protect the tenant and the landlord on expiration of the lease. Since the tenant is obligated to hand the property back to the landlord in good order, fair wear and tear accepted, the schedule of condition report will protect the tenant if the landlord is being unreasonable about releasing the deposit, but it will also protect the landlord if there are additional decoration costs or loss of rent while he makes good the premises for re-letting after the tenancy expires.

The Frost Partnership has successfully completed many commercial rental transactions over the last thirty years and we are proud of our reputation. View our testimonials or contact The Frost Partnership to start your search today.

Table 1: Commercial property and use class

Publically available information from the Open Government License (Updated 17 Oct 2011)

A1: Shops Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post office (not sorting offices), pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors and Internet cafes
A2: Financial and Professional Services Financial Services such as banks and building societies, professional services (other than health)
A3: Restaurants and Cafes For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes
A4: Drinking Establishments Public houses, Wine bars or Other drinking establishments (but not night clubs).
A5: Hot Food Takeaways For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises
B1: Businesses Offices (other than those fall within A2 use), Research and development of products and processes, Light industry appropriate in a residential area
B2: General Industrial Use for industrial process other than those fall within class B1 (excluding incineration purposes, chemical treatment or landfill or hazardous waste)
B8: Storage or Distribution Including open-air storage.
C1: Hotels Hotels, boarding and guesthouses where no significant element of care is provided (excludes hostels).
C2: Residential Institutions Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres.
C2A: Secure Residential Institutions Use for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks.
C3: Dwelling Houses This class is formed of 3 parts:
C3(a) covers use by a single person or a family (a couple whether married or not, a person related to one another with members of the family of one of the couple to be treated as members of the family of the other), an employer and certain domestic employees (such as an au pair, nanny, nurse, governess, servant, chauffeur, gardener, secretary and personal assistant), a carer and the person receiving the care and a foster parent and foster child.
C3(b): up to six people living together as a single household and receiving care e.g. supported housing schemes such as those for people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
C3(c) allows for groups of people (up to six) living together as a single household. This allows for those groupings that do not fall within the C4 HMO definition, but which fell within the previous C3 use class, to be provided for i.e. a small religious community may fall into this section as could a homeowner who is living with a lodger.
C4: Houses in Multiple Occupation Small shared dwelling houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
D1: Non-Residential Institutions Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries (other than for sale or hire), museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non-residential education and training centres.
D2: Assembly and Leisure Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or area for indoor or outdoor sports and recreations (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used).
Sui Generis Certain uses do not fall within any use class and are considered ‘sui generis’. Such uses include: theatres, houses in multiple occupation, hostels providing no significant element of care, scrap yards. Petrol filling stations and shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles. Retail warehouse clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, taxi businesses, amusement centres and casinos.

Table 2: Commercial property use class types that can be changed to accommodate other use class types without the need for the landlord to apply for planning permission.

Publically available information from the Open Government License (Updated 17 Oct 2011)

From: To:
A2: Financial and Professional Services (When properties have a display window at ground level) A1: Shops
A3: Restaurant and Cafes

A1: Shops
A2: Financial and Professional Services

A4: Drinking Establishments

A1: Shops
A2: Financial and Professional Services
A3: Restaurants and Cafes

A5: Hot Takeaways

A1: Shops
A2: Financial and Professional Services
A3: Restaurants and Cafes

B1: Businesses (less than 235 sq. m of floor space) B8: Storage and Distribution
B2: General Industrial B1: Businesses
B2: General Industrial (less than 235 sq. m of floor space) B8: Storage and Distribution
B8: Storage and Distribution (less than 235 sq. m of floor space) B1: Businesses
C4: Houses in Multiple Location C3: Dwelling Houses
Casinos D2: Assembly and Leisure