Top Five Areas to Consider when Renting Commercial Property

If you are contemplating renting commercial space in Ireland, then there are a number of key areas you need to consider before going ahead. These tips apply to all types of commercial properties from a coffee shop to a office or retail premises.

If you’re looking to start or grow your business by taking on a commercial unit, then these tips will assist you in what to consider. 

Our advice is to always take the advice of a solicitor at the heads of terms stage which we discuss further below. 

Please reach out to us if you have any queries, questions or concerns. 

1. Heads of Terms

While tenants sometimes engage an estate agent to act on their behalf to negotiate the terms of the lease, it’s likely that you will be negotiating the terms of the agreement directly with the landlord’s estate agent. The terms of the agreement will be captured in a document called the “Heads of Terms” and this will dictate what clauses are included in the lease of the unit.  

Its our experience that its very difficult to move away from what’s agreed in the heads of terms so negotiate hard at this stage. Although not legally binding, once agreed, it can be very difficult to change the heads of terms. Badly drafted heads of terms or no heads of terms results in uncertainty and consequently delay and increase the cost of legal negotiations.

2. The Term of the Lease

The terms of a lease are negotiable so it is important that your legal and financial advisors inspect the lease to be sure the terms are fair. What will the duration of the lease be?

If you take a lease for greater than 5 years and have not renounced your rights, you may have statutory rights of renewal under the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act, 1980.

3. Break Option

It is not unusual for fixed term commercial leases to contain a clause (a break clause) which entitles a tenant or indeed the landlord to unilaterally bring the lease to an end before the term of the lease runs out. A break clause is a significant benefit for a tenant to surrender a lease prior to the end of the term of the Lease with or without penalty.

Break clauses are strictly interpreted and a tenant may lose their break option on technical grounds for failing to comply strictly with the terms of the break clause such as the time limits, compliance with covenants and conditions in the Lease and financial payments.

Always speak to your solicitor before exercising a break option and negotiate hard before entering the lease so you can comply with the terms of that break option.

4. Repairs

The lease will set out who is responsible for repairs. Repairs will depend on the type of premises you are leasing. If you are taking a lease of an entire building, then you as tenant will likely be responsible for the repair of the entire property including the structural elements of the property i.e. the roof.

If you are taking a lease of a floor in a building, then you may only be responsible for internal repairs.

 5. End of the Lease

The lease will set out how the unit is to be returned to the landlord at the end of the term. You should agree at the outset whether your fit out works or any alterations carried out by you during the term of the lease will need to be removed and the unit reinstated to its original condition, or will you be permitted to leave them?

These five areas are just some of the many issues that you should consider before entering a lease of a commercial premises. We at Roe Solicitors provide practical legal advice for landlords and tenants in relation to long term and short-term leases. We understand the importance of communicating with our clients and completing the matter in an efficient and timely manner.

further reading 

  1. Why Tenants Need to Know what the Commercial Lease Register is? 

  2. What is a full, repairing and insuring lease? 

  3. Security Deposits and when they can be Retained by a Landlord


We have extensive experience in dealing with all matters relating to commercial leasing acting for both landlords and tenants. For specific legal advice on commercial leases and any other Landlord and Tenant issues, then please get in touch today.

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