How to get out of a business lease

If your business has outgrown its premises or you want to diversify, it's time to move on - but getting out of an agreed lease with a landlord may carry certain legal restrictions. This guide will give you advice on to avoiding those pitfalls and help you make a smooth transition to your new premises.

  • When you negotiate your lease
  • Assignment or subletting
  • When you move out

When you negotiate your lease

When you first move into a property, be aware that as a small business you may outgrow the premises fairly rapidly, so make sure you build a break clause into the lease. The break clause will allow you to reassess your contract without having to wait until the agreement expires, and regularly review your agreement.

  • Be aware that you might outgrow the property
  • Build a break clause into the lease
  • Review your lease regularly

Assignment or subletting

If you need to move out of your premises before your agreement expires, your lease may allow you to sublet the property. This means you will remain responsible for making sure the rent is paid on time, even if you are not trading from the premises. Make sure you get consent from your landlord for this type of agreement.

  • Your lease may allow you to sublet the property
  • You will remain responsible for rent
  • Get consent from your landlord

When you move out

Before you move out, check your contract to see what you are responsible for. You will probably be liable for repairing any damage to the space you've been trading from, as well as ensuring electrical equipment measures up to safety standards. If you have made any alterations to the property, check whether you need to rectify them.

  • Check your contract to see what you are responsible for
  • Make repairs and ensure electrical equipment is safe
  • Rectify any alterations

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