A Tenant's Solicitor Checklist
At the outset of each instruction we will require:
- documentation to verify your identity
- evidence of the origin of funds to be used in the transaction
- heads of terms setting out the terms you have agreed with the landlord.
Contacting The Landlord's Solicitors
We will write to the landlord’s solicitors to:
- confirm instructions in relation to the proposed transaction
- verify the Heads of Terms
- request draft documentation, evidence of the landlord’s property title and raise commercial property enquiries on your behalf and all supported documentation relating to the property.
Our role is to investigate the property and this is known as due diligence. We will undertake a review of the information disclosed to us by the landlord’s solicitor.
We recommend as a minimum the following searches are undertaken against the property:
- Local Authority search
- Commercial Water & drainage search
- Chancel check search
- Commercial Environmental search
Review Of The Draft Documentation
Our role is to review the lease in draft form, make amendments to the wording of the terms in order to reduce/limit the tenant’s liability where possible and reach a compromise with the landlord’s solicitors.
Depending on the arrangements with the landlord, we will similarly negotiate the terms of the rent deposit deed and any other supporting draft documents associated with the transaction.
We will discuss with you any dispute issues as soon as they arise so that they can be quickly resolved.
Reporting To You
Once we have completed our due diligence of the property and the documents are agreed, we will usually provide a written report on our investigations into the property. The report will detail your key obligations and set out any risks that you should be aware of and give you an opportunity to make an informed decision as to how to proceed with the transaction.
If you and the landlord agree to proceed with the lease, the landlord’s solicitor will prepare the final document(s) and send them to us. You will be required to sign the document(s) in the presence of a witness.
Depending on the terms of the lease, you may also be required to sign a statutory declaration to confirm that the lease will fall outside of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The declaration will have to be signed in the presence of an independent solicitor and we can guide you through this process.
In advance of completion, we will provide a financial statement called a ‘complete statement’. This will set out any monies which you have to transfer to us, including:
- our professional fees
- deposit amount (if applicable)
- rent/insurance due to the landlord
- service charge (if applicable)
- stamp duty land tax and land registration fee (if applicable)
Completion Of The Lease
We will confirm that we are holding the documentation signed by you and request a similar confirmation from the landlord’s solicitor. The completion of the lease (and any other associated documents) takes place by both solicitors completing the dates on the documents over the telephone. We will advise you once the documents are completed and the keys for the premises will be released to you.
Post Completion Matters
Following completion, we will:
- Send your signed document(s) to the landlord’s solicitors
- Await receipt of the landlord’s signed document(s)
- Submit a return to HMRC for Stamp Duty Land Tax payable (if any)
- Register the Lease at the Land Registry (if applicable)
- Send the original document(s) to you for safe keeping or retain original documents in our deeds strong room for safe keeping as requested.