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Introduce an ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ for commercial property

Comment 6th July 2010

To provide a simple and quick means of occupying commercial property (of all types), with fixed terms, standard clauses, standard deposits, standard rights and obligations etc.  My suggestion would be that it should be available to all properties up to £50,000 pa exclusive.   The AST has transformed the private rented residential sector and with some thought a similar basis could be put in place for commercial lettings, which would significantly improve the market and the economy, in my opinion. 

Why does this matter?

As a working surveyor with 25 years experience in dealing with commercial property thoughout the UK I have come to the firm conclusion that the system works against achieving what both landlords and tenants want, occupation.  Whilst the existing Landlord and Tenant legislation works well in the background the vast majority of lettings become too long winded and unnecessarily complicated for what should be a straightforward transaction.  It is difficult for businesses to grasp that they can, for example, drive vehicles of significant value away from showrooms in a matter ofr days, whereas occupying a property from which they want to run their business can take months to achieve.

I fully appreciate that bespoke properties on bespoke agreements will always need dealing with, but I firmly believe that if a standard system could be put in place for what I think will be the majority of deals, it would result in much greater economic activity.  

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