Letting Commercial Property in London: A Guide

Currell Commercial’s step-by-step guide to letting commercial property in London is designed to take landlords though the letting process, from deciding which price to rent your property to property management.

The Rental Value of Your Commercial Property

When assessing the value of your property, a few things to consider include:

  • The size and condition of your property
  • The location of your property and its proximity to transport links, amenities etc
  • The recent and current market trends of similar properties
  • Your property’s additional features
  • The demand and supply factors relating to your property.

Currell Commercial’s professional letting agents can provide you with a value to successfully market your property. Please give us a ring or call into our Commercial office at 309 Upper Street, Islington, London N1, and our letting agent staff will be happy to assist you.

Before You Let Your Commercial Property

If you are thinking of letting your commercial property, you may wish to consider the following things:

  • Mortgage – If you have a mortgage on the commercial property you wish to let, you will need the permission of your lender to let the commercial property. Most lenders will gladly provide you with this
  • Lease Restrictions – If you want to let a leasehold commercial property, check your lease to see if there are any restrictions within it
  • Safety Certificates – You will need to possess or attain certain safety certificates to legally let a commercial property that you own, which should be given to the new tenants before they move in
  • Gas / Electrics – All gas pipe work and appliances needs to be checked for safety
  • Building and Contents Insurance – You should inform your building and contents insurance company you will be letting your commercial property
  • Furniture – Check it complies with fire safety regulations. If not, you may need to remove these items and replace them with more suitable ones
  • Clean – You will need to clean your commercial property properly before the new tenants move in.

Safety Requirements

The law states that as a landlord you must make certain checks before you let your commercial property. Currently the following regulations apply:

  • The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 - This regulation stipulates that it is the duty of the landlord of any commercial rental property to have all gas appliances and their associated pipe work tested on an annual basis. A copy of the Gas Safety Inspection certificate must be left for the new commercial property tenants before they sign the tenancy contract
  • The Electrical (Safety) Regulations 1994 / Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 - Supplying unsafe electrical equipment in rented accommodation is a criminal offence. As a landlord, you must ensure all you commercial property’s electrical equipment, appliances and electrical supply, is safe, and electrical items must be examined by a qualified electrician prior to the tenants taking occupation
  • The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire and Safety) Regulations 1988 - Landlord’s also have the duty of ensuring all upholstered furniture complies with these regulations.

Using a Commercial Property Agent

For peace of mind, a commercial property estate agent, such as Currell Commercial, is able to help you let your commercial property in a number of ways:

  • Marketing – We promote your property in multiple media, both on and offline, to present your property to a very broad audience
  • Specialist Knowledge – We know all the legal documentation you need to protect your property and rights when letting out your commercial property
  • Extensive Database – We have a range of clients looking for commercial property to rent, many which may be the ideal candidates for your commercial property
  • Cross Checks – We can investigate references from prospective tenants and even run credit checks, to ensure the financial stability and responsibility of any candidates who wish to rent your property.

Viewings

Currell Commercial will conduct viewings for you. Before every viewing, you should make sure your property is clean, tidy and curtains allow as much natural light as possible to come in.

If you are in your commercial property when your prospective tenants come to view it, make sure you are able to provide all the information you are asked for and are as friendly as possible. A good first impression is very important, as prospective tenants are far more likely to rent a property from an amenable landlord.

We should then soon be able to let you know about the prospective tenant’s situation, their offer, their references and the term they wish to rent your property for.

Getting a Good Tenant

To ensure you get the best tenant possible, Currell Commercial Letting Agents check your prospective tenants with:

  • Credit Checks – Show you if your prospective tenants have any county court judgements (CCJs) against their names, and what their history for paying their financial responsibilities is like
  • References – Taken from their employer and previous landlords can tell you more about your prospective tenant’s character and nature as a tenant.

The Contract (Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement) protects your rights as a landlord, but you may wish to also get:

  • A Rental Insurance Policy – Which could protect you from financial loss, should your tenants default on their rent responsibilities.

The best way to make sure you have good commercial property tenants is to be a good commercial property landlord. Meet your tenants, provide them with all the relevant contact numbers and look after them as you hope they will look after your property.

An Inventory

Before a tenant moves in, a professional inventory should be taken, including photographs, if there is anything of value or note in the property.

An inventory is your record of the contents and condition of your property before a tenant moves in. Both you the landlord and your new tenants should check the inventory and sign that they agree to the entire document.

When your tenants move out, a check-out inventory should be conducted to assess the state of the property and its contents. This will determine whether any deductions should be made from the deposit, before it is returned on the expiration of the tenancy.

Property Management

When you let your London commercial property, you may wish to use a Property Management service. This will give them the responsibility of looking after the property and all the needs and demands of the tenant, including:  

  • Rent – Collecting and chasing late payments
  • Arranging Contractors – To maintain or repair the property
  • Tenants – Handling all their requests and enquiries
  • Emergencies – Being always available
  • Annual Tax Returns – Preparing the annual income and expenditure.

Rent and Tax

As rental income is taxable as income, you may wish to speak to your accountant, about the tax implications and potential tax deductibles that you will be responsible for and entitled to. If you own a property that is not your main residence (i.e. one that you rent out), you should speak to your accountant about Capital Gains Tax (CGT) responsibility. 

For further advice and information, please contact commercial property letting agents Currell Commercial. Whether you are going to let office space, a shop or industrial units, we can find the right tenants for you. Or for more information, please give us a ring or come into our Commercial office at 309 Upper Street, Islington, London N1, and our staff will be happy to assist you.