We’ve put together a list of the different stages of the leasing process. While we think these are the most important sections, it is not an exhaustive list and different landlords and lease structures could add variations to this process. Even though we’ve put the sections in an approximate order, some items may run concurrently:
Agreeing Heads of Terms (HOTs)
The HOTs should reflect everything you have agreed up to this point and include all the details of your lease – if anything is missing from the HOTs, you risk it not being included in your final lease. Verbal promises are rarely binding, so, if the landlord or representative has promised to do something either before or during your lease, make sure it gets included in the HOTs.
Depending on the complexity of the agreement you’re signing, you may need a solicitor to help. Once a lease is signed you cannot change it, so, if you are ever in doubt, always take professional advice.
Your new landlord should be able to answer any queries you have about the property. They should provide you with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate, which by law must be E or higher, or provide proof they are the owner of the building.
Completing “Know Your Customer” checks
You should be asked at this stage to provide information to confirm your identity. This could be a copy of your passport, a utility bill or your company financials.
Setting up direct debits or standing orders
Very few landlords accept payment in cash. It is likely you will be required to pay your rent by direct debit or standing order.
Any advance rent or rent deposits will need to be paid before the lease completes. It may be sensible to transfer the funds to a Law Society-registered lawyer to protect you if the landlord is not reputable.
Make sure your signatories are available when you need them as you can’t move in without the lease or licence being signed. You also need to ensure other documents, such as plans, schedules of condition or licences for alterations, are signed too, otherwise this will delay moving in.
Releasing the keys
Once everything above is done, your new lease should be complete and you can get the keys for your new property. You can sleep easy knowing you are all good to go and can start looking forward to your new space.
Check out our Guide to Leasing that covers all your leasing questions.
Or call us on 0800 1 22 330 to speak to one of the team.