It has been a busy time for the RICS recently on its consultations. First, the Service Charge Code revisions, where the new Code is due to come into force in April, (see my previous post). Then the technical, but financially important Guide to Measuring Practice. Now the proposals for the Code for Leasing Business Premises are out for consultation. The proposed new Code is due to replace the 2007 Code, and is designed to "improve the quality and fairness of initial negotiations.....that should make the legal drafting process more efficient". This is a laudatory aim and the Code aims to achieve it by imposing a number of mandatory requirements for heads of terms, as well as optional points. If you think that there is anything that has been left out, or that you feel should be excluded, you have until April 12 to add your views on the Consultation website.
This 1st edition of the RICS professional statement: Code for leasing business premises replaces the Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales 2007 and is the result of pan-industry discussion between representatives of landlords, tenants and other trade bodies. The government supports the principles behind the lease code. The objective is to improve the quality and fairness of initial negotiations on lease terms and to promote the issue of comprehensive heads of terms that should make the legal drafting process more efficient. The lease code and the accompanying model heads of terms should be used as a checklist for negotiations before the grant of a new lease and at the time of any lease renewal. Landlords should be transparent about any departures from the lease code in any particular case and the reasons for it.