New lease to make life simpler for small businesses

The Small Business Lease, which is free to down load and use, will in particular help new and independent retailers.

Development of the new lease was led by the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS), working with the British Retail Consortium and British Property Federation. RICS members advised on the new lease which was authored by Nick Darby, a solicitor with SNR Denton UK LLP.

Business minister Baroness Wilcox said: “This initiative will make life simpler for independent retailers and other small businesses. Negotiating a lease for a shop or office should not be a daunting task. By using this new contract both landlord and tenant will know that they are agreeing fair terms that provide clarity for both sides.

“This is a significant step in the government’s work to make it easier for small businesses to survive and prosper. Government will work with the private sector to ensure small businesses are accessing the new contract and reaping its benefits.”

Paul Bagust, Associate Director, Professional Groups and Forums at RICS said: “In simplifying the leasing process for landlords and small business tenants, we hope to support SMEs and provide a boost to the British high street in a time of decline – thereby contributing to overall UK economic productivity.

“Moreover, by offering mutually beneficial terms to landlords and tenants in a flexible lease, we are directly addressing the principles of the Code for Leasing Business Premises – identified in the Portas Review as a key tool in tackling the high street’s decline.”

The new lease is the result of collaboration between property professionals, landlords and the retail sector. Government will work with these organisations to raise awareness among small businesses.