The Practical Lawyer


RICS – code for leasing business premises

The RICS has launched the first edition of its Code for Leasing Business Premises which comes into force on 1 September 2020. It will replace the voluntary Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales (2007).
The aim of the 2020 Code is to improve the quality and fairness of negotiations on lease terms and to promote the issue of comprehensive heads of terms that should make the legal drafting process more efficient. It will apply to lettings of premises in England and Wales to Ts who carry on trade, professional or other business activities in them. The Code helpfully includes a template heads of terms and checklist as an aide memoir for negotiations before the grant of a new lease and on any lease renewal.
The Code will not apply to:
  • agricultural lettings;
  • premises that will only be used for housing plant and equipment (such as electricity transformers or telecoms) or advertising media (such as hoardings);
  • premises that are intended to be wholly sublet by the tenant; or
  • premises being let for a period of not more than six months.
The Code specifies the minimum heads of terms on a vacant possession letting (which must be in writing and marked ‘subject to contract’) as follows:
  • the identity and extent of the premises (and requiring the landlord to arrange the provision of a Land Registry-compliant plan if the lease is registerable);
  • any special rights to be granted, such as parking or telecom/data access;
  • the length of term and whether LTA 1954 will apply or be excluded;
  • any options for renewal or break rights;
  • any requirements for a guarantor and/or rent deposit;
  • the amount of rent, frequency of payment and whether exclusive of business rates;
  • whether the landlord intends to charge VAT on the rent;
  • any rent-free period or other incentive;
  • any rent reviews including frequency and basis of review;
  • liability to pay service charge and/or insurance premiums;
  • rights to assign, sublet, charge or share the premises;
  • repairing obligations;
  • the initial permitted use and whether any changes of use will be allowed;
  • rights to make alterations and any particular reinstatement obligations;
  • any initial alterations or fit-out (if known); and
  • any conditions of the letting, such as subject to surveys, board approvals or planning permission.
Not all of the Code is mandatory for RICS members – some is only good practice – but a RICS member who does not follow good practice may have to justify their action. Source:

Most-read articles

Capacity – wills; disclosure
Monday, 09 March 2020
The Society’s guidance, Access and disclosure of an incapacitated person’s will, gives important clarification around the circumstances in which a solicitor can disclose a copy of a client’s... Read more...
Source of funds – Law Society guidance
Monday, 09 March 2020
We mentioned above the new Law Society practice note on signs of money laundering. A constant refrain for conveyancers – but one which should be heard more widely – is the importance for firms of... Read more...
MIB injury on private land – update
Monday, 09 March 2020
We reported in our July/August 2019 edition (p31) on the case in which the CA held that MIB was liable to pay compensation to someone injured in a car accident on private land. The injured party was... Read more...
Provisional damages – underused?
Monday, 09 March 2020
An interesting article reminds PI practitioners of the underused solution of provisional damages, which are provided for in s32A of the Senior Courts Act 1981. In PI and clinical negligence cases,... Read more...
Tate peeping – CA decision
Monday, 09 March 2020
We reported in our March 2019 edition (p24) on the case brought by the owners of luxury flats adjacent to the Tate Gallery. They applied for an injunction to prevent members of the public from... Read more...
RICS – code for leasing business premises
Monday, 09 March 2020
The RICS has launched the first edition of its Code for Leasing Business Premises which comes into force on 1 September 2020. It will replace the voluntary Code for Leasing Business Premises in... Read more...
Boundary disputes – the essentials
Monday, 09 March 2020
Boundary disputes can mean different things to different practitioners – conveyancers will hate them and seek to avoid at all costs; property litigators will no doubt take a different view! An... Read more...
Procedure – coronavirus
Monday, 09 March 2020
The author raises an urgent issue for family lawyers: how should they take the coronavirus into account in the work they undertake for their clients, particularly international clients or those with... Read more...
Parental bereavement – in force?
Monday, 09 March 2020
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 should come into force in April 2020. Regulations as to the detailed operation of the Act are awaited but the government’s consultation response... Read more...
Sentencing – judge’s remarks
Monday, 09 March 2020
The appellants were convicted of a money laundering offence under s328 POCA following a sophisticated, multimillion-pound, cross-border money laundering operation. S was sentenced to eight years in... Read more...


IAG International
Join the IBA now!
MSI Global Alliance
In House Lawyer