The Law Society has worked with RICS in pan-industry discussion between representatives of landlords, tenants and other professional bodies to develop its Code for leasing business premises (1st edition). 

Published in February 2020, the code’s objective is to improve the quality and fairness of negotiations on lease terms, by:

  • helping to identify important terms
  • encouraging both parties to obtain advice from property professionals
  • making sure that landlords, tenants and guarantors understand the commitments that they are making.

It will also promote comprehensive heads of terms that should make the legal drafting process more efficient.

The code is supplemented by detailed guidance notes for landlords and tenants explaining many of the issues, including comments on common lease provisions.

Using the code

The lease code, and the accompanying template heads of terms and checklist, should be used:

  • as a reminder for negotiations
  • before the grant of a new lease, and
  • at the time of any lease renewal.