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Last week saw the launch of the Model Commercial Lease (MCL) website providing a suite of template commercial leases and some property management docs which are free to download.
With leasehold issues including AGAs being possibilities to be included in the Law Commission’s 12th programme of reform (it is due to put forward its proposals to the government this summer), the culmination of three years work on the MCL is a welcome leap towards achieving an industry standard suite of commercial lease documents.
The MCL was originally commissioned by the British Property Federation and a large number of well-known law firms, clients and trade organisations have been represented on the working group that produced the documents, or taken part in extensive informal consultations.
The MCL is intended to avoid the unnecessary negotiation on routine lettings by representing a fair starting point for both parties. The leases have been drafted for use by landlords not tenants but if adopted as an industry standard will potentially benefit both landlords and tenants by providing a faster and cheaper method of agreeing commercial lease documents providing a useful starting point for negotiations much in the way that the standard property sale conditions do.
With many of the major landlords preferring their own form of leases and the difficulty in transitioning to a new form of lease with already let buildings and centres, it is likely that any adoption will be incremental rather than overnight.
The various forms of standard leases and management documents can be accessed here.
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Melissa Moore is a dual qualified in England and Wales and South African lawyer and has 14 years’ experience in property practice in England. She has worked in local government and been a partner at a regional law firm and most recently an associate director at Berwin Leighton Paisner which she joined in 2005. Melissa has wide experience in all areas of property law and specializes in commercial real estate development. She has experience in a number of sectors including hotel, leisure, offices, investment, industrial, motorway service stations and funding. She has worked on large scale strategic developments and government funding initiatives, town centre regeneration schemes and private mixed use developments both for public sector and private developers and investment funds. In 2013 she was ranked by Legal 500 as recommended for local government work.
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