Code for leasing business premises, RICS professional statement 2020
Code for leasing business premises, RICS professional statement 2020

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Code for leasing business premises, RICS professional statement 2020
  • Status of the Lease Code 2020
  • The Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales 2007
  • Contents of the Lease Code 2020
  • Comparison table of key lease terms under the Lease Code 2020 and the Lease Code 2007
  • Practical implications for solicitors

Status of the Lease Code 2020

The Code for leasing business premises, RICS professional statement 2020 (the Lease Code 2020) is effective from 1 September 2020. A full copy of the Lease Code 2020 can be accessed through the RICS website here. It is the result of pan-industry discussion. Its stated objective is:

‘to improve the quality and fairness of negotiations on lease terms and to promote the issue of comprehensive heads of terms in order to make the legal drafting process more efficient.’

In contrast to the Code for leasing business premises in England and Wales 2007 (the Lease Code 2007), the Lease Code 2020 is a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) professional statement and sets out the requirements of practice for RICS members and for firms that are regulated by RICS. It includes both mandatory requirements for RICS members and sections that constitute good practice. RICS members may only depart from good practice if there are exceptional circumstances and they can justify their decisions and actions.

As a professional statement, the RICS will take account of its provisions when deciding whether a member has acted professionally and with reasonable competence. The Lease Code 2020 is also likely to be taken into account in court proceedings regarding the competence of surveyors. It would be unwise for any qualified surveyor involved in the negotiation of heads of terms or

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