Channel Islands: Stop before you set up shop

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As Guernsey and Jersey emerge from the economic downturn there are a number of retail premises which have come back onto the market and have opened up fresh and exciting opportunities for both national outlets and local retailers alike. With an increasing number of premises on offer it is important that retailers consider their position fully before signing up to a new lease.

Often a retailer will view premises and decide on the store they wish to occupy before making any professional appointments. Negotiating the deal themselves can seem like a tempting, cheap and quick option to many retailers. However, it is important to be aware that, once they have agreed to take the premises on certain terms (which often involves signing up to a set of heads of terms) it will be harder to renegotiate the specific terms of their letting later on. We would therefore recommend that, prior to agreeing to take a lease of a property, a retailer appoints both a commercial property agent, who can provide advice on market conditions as well as the suitability and value of any potential premises, and a lawyer who can work with the agent to assist in the negotiation of the terms at the outset, rather than having to battle to renegotiate terms at the lease drafting stage…

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