Jeremy’s Jottings

Going back to the days of typewriters a lease was probably around 20 pages. Text would be in Times Roman 12 point or similar. You could probably read it in 15 minutes and be satisfied it was comprehensive.

At random I have just looked at a lease dating from 2012 and this is 40 pages long. A lease of 50 pages is by no means uncommon.

I have nothing against a lease of 50 or so pages. But if say the telephone rings or I am distracted in some other way for safety’s sake it’s not uncommon for me to have to start again. When possible to avoid this leases are now bedtime reading. You can probably imagine that goes down well.

As leases have grown in size so, in my view, they have become increasingly difficult to understand. If I’m of this view how is a tenant, say the proprietor of a café, supposed to be able to understand such a document. And if it’s not easily understandable how can he / she be expected to comply without having to engage professionals to interpret such documentation? My next jotting returns to this theme.

As something of a tangent one thing we’ve noticed is that as a combination of increased size and word processing it’s not unusual for terms to disappear, become accidentally deleted!

Are leases of today more or less adequate than in times gone by? For me a key factor is inspection. I was taught to walk round a property noting and taking as many photographs as possible. If two of you can do this all the better. Why? Well, when I inspect something I focus on certain elements. Another person will focus on other elements. If you are able to persuade your solicitor to walk around all the better. He or she will almost certainly see things from another dimension. With this level of focus so I believe you are likely to be able to determine if those 50 or so pages cover all the aspects they really should.

Next jotting – Is the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 still relevant at the age of 60??

Jeremy’s jottings do not constitute advice on any specific matter. Lawson Commercial recommends you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of the jottings.