Costs Involved in Renting a Commercial Property

Tenants Commercial Property Guide As well as the typical rental costs, there are also other additional costs attached to renting a commercial property. Discover what the other main costs are with our guide and make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decision on your chosen commercial property.

Rental and Additional Costs for Commercial Property Tenants

When you rent a commercial property, there are several costs that need to be taken into account:

Rental Costs

The landlord will normally request references to confirm you are able to pay your rent and rates liability. If you’re a start-up business, you may find it advantageous to have a guarantor for your rent and other liabilities under the lease. If this is not acceptable a rental guarantee may be required. This typically requires a cash deposit, which is usually deposited into a locked account. The landlord would be able to draw against this account if obligations by the tenant are not forefilled.

Rents are normally paid quarterly in advance on the following quarter days: March 25, June 24, September 29 and December 25. Any service charges or insurance rent will be usually billed at this time.

Rental and other payments are due whether you receive an invoice or not. It is your responsibility to make sure any payments are made on the due date to avoid additional charges that the landlord may be able to recover under the terms of the lease. These can be substantial!

Fees for Any Professional Advisers (Solicitors, Surveyors etc)

The costs of using a surveyor to negotiate a lease on your behalf can be up to ten percent of the annual rent, plus disbursements and VAT.

Business Rates

Business rates are based on the rental value. These valuations are carried out by The Valuation Office Agency (VOA). These are revised on a periodic basis. The last valuation in England and Wales was carried out in April 2010 (Please refer to ‘Business Rates’ Section for detailed information). Scotland has its own system called Non-Domestic Rates, which is carried out by the Scottish Assessors (Valuation Department) and the poundage is set by Scottish Ministers. The last revision was carried out in April 2010.

Other Costs Involved

  • Local authority charges for services (i.e. parking and waste collection etc)
  • Insurance
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Running costs or Service charge (lighting, heating, any cleaning services etc) – you should ask to see an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the commercial property and ensure that a copy is made available. It is a legal requirement under a lease for the landlord to provide this prior to completing a lease. This requirement is not compulsory if you are entering into a licence or renting serviced office space (please refer to ‘Commercial EPC’ Section for detailed information).
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on leases – payable on the majority of commercial properties. (Please refer to ‘SDLT on Leases’ Section for detailed information)
  • Deposit – this is in general equivalent to three or six months’ rent.
  • VAT (if you’re registered for VAT, you may be able to claim it back) – some buildings have been elected for VAT, which means you will pay VAT on all rents and service charges. An identical building next door may not have been elected for VAT and therefore VAT will not be charged on the rent or the service charge.


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