A Brief Guide to Renting Business Premises

It’s many people’s dream to start their own business – who wouldn’t want to work for themselves? But the realities of actually renting a business premises can be difficult to navigate. Over the years, I’ve seen people unnecessarily trip up on these stumbling blocks because they weren’t aware of the facts. But they’re easy to avoid if you know how, or have someone who can offer you quality guidance through the process. Let’s take a brief look at the key points that you might have to consider when leasing a commercial property.

Firstly, it’s important to understand that leasing a property for business is completely different from renting residential property. You may have rented a house or flat before, but a commercial landlord is unlikely to offer you the same rights or obligations that you will have enjoyed with a residential landlord. For example, when renting a home, you’re not expected to know about safety regulations or property maintenance – all that’s really required is to pay rent, keep the place tidy and contact the landlord if something goes wrong. In contrast, when renting a commercial property, the landlord is not expected to know how the tenant plans to operate, the temporary alterations they might carry out, or the regulations that will apply to their particular trade. The tenant is regarded as a business that should be capable of managing their own operations.

It might seem obvious but it’s vital to check what kind of business you can use the premises for. It’s always a good idea to try to add an element of flexibility into the contract if you can see yourself wanting to make changes to your business plan in the future. For instance, you might open a hair salon and want to add a nail bar at a later date.

However, there are tight rules about what kind of businesses can be run where, so no matter the flexibility of your lease, you must also obtain the correct planning permission to run that type of business.  Another key point to consider in maintenance and repairs – who is responsible? While the Commercial Lease Code recommends that your obligation for repairs should be limited, this code of conduct is not always followed. Some landlords will want to give you full responsibility for keeping the property in a good condition and make you liable for carrying out any repairs as and when necessary. If you’re lucky enough to have a lease where the responsibilities lie with the landlord, it’s important to establish an agreement with them about how long it should take them to make these repairs.

Finally, before signing your lease, it’s critical to consider the length of time you’re signing up for and how easy it will be to get out of. Things can change quickly in the business world, especially if you’re starting a small business, so it would be inadvisable to sign a long-term lease – as tempting as it may be! I would recommend signing a lease for no more than 3-5 years at the most. Also, if you can, try to work a break clause into your contract – this can give you the chance to end your lease early should you need to. If this isn’t an option, you should discuss the right to pass your lease onto another party, though some landlords may want you to provide a guarantee that holds you responsible if the new tenant fails to pay their rent.

While renting a commercial property may seem like murky waters, if you have carefully considered each of these basic points it should be easy to rent your business premises with success and full assurance. The key to establishing a lease that both you and your landlord are happy with is to take a pragmatic approach when drafting it. It’s important to remember that whilst you may be opening your business, you ARE the landlord’s business and they want to cover themselves and their business for the future in the same way that you do – so be prepared to make some compromises. If you’re still unsure on any terms, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a legal professional so that you’re able to proceed with a full understanding. After all, the process of opening your business is an exciting time and you want to be able to navigate each and every step of it with complete confidence.


Property Expert, Laurence Cox has been at the forefront of the property market since 1988.

The Foulness Island Charity Bike Ride is BACK for 2019!

Hair & Son Auctions, the most successful Auction house in Essex, are looking forward to supporting Thorpe Bay Rotary’s Foulness Island Charity Bike Ride this year on Sunday 8th September 2019. With the non-profit event raising an amazing £14,000 for many charities in 2018 we are hoping that the event this year is just as successful and preparations are in full swing for the 19th year of the bike ride.

Many members of Hair & Son staff will be taking part on the day to show their support and raise vital funds. Rob Hennessey Hair & Son’s Auction Manager commented “It’s a privilege to once again be a part of this fantastic event in support of so many great causes. We are hopeful of a great turn out so whether you are a serious cyclist or just looking to cruise around, come along with your friends and family and enjoy all that Foulness Island has to offer”.

If you too would like to join the fun, register now to cycle this idyllic Island not normally open to the public. There are 3 classes of entry for this ride and entry fees are as follows:

Adult £15.00

Child £7.50

Family (2 Adults and 2 Children under 16) £39.50

There are 8 start times for the ride from 9:30am to 1:00pm at half-hour intervals. To reserve your time slot please select from the drop down box in the registration form. If your chosen start time is not available, please select a later start time.


Proud Sponsors of Hullbridge FC

Hair & Son began their sponsorship as 1st team sponsors of Hullbridge FC in 2018 firstly by purchasing a pitch side advertising board at their main stadium pitch and in 2019, we have continued to support the club as shirt sponsors for the Under 13 Whites, who currently play in Division B of the Southend Junior League for the 2019/2020 season.

Glenn Frost from Hullbridge has said “The sponsorship allows the team to purchase a new kit for the next two seasons and the pitch side sponsorship allows the club to invest this money back into youth football by helping pay for the upkeep of the 8 pitches we have on site. This enables the kids to play on the best surface possible and therefore improving their footballing skills. On a personal level I’d like to send my thanks to Sean Allen and Laurence Cox for arranging this sponsorship and your continued support of grassroots football.”

The club was founded in 1945 and in 1947 joined the Southend and District league playing in the park at Pooles Lane. In 1980 the club moved to the current ground, 16.5 acres in Lower Road, shortly followed by the opening of a clubhouse in 1983. Further improvements to the ground continued until the club’s Saturday 1st team gained entry into the Essex Senior League when floodlights, seating and turnstiles were installed. Last season saw Hullbridge FC win the Essex Senior League and promotion to Step 4 of the non-league pyramid, the Isthmian League North. As well as the flagship 1st team the club has almost 30 teams in total from under 7’s through to veterans, all playing on the same 16.5 acre site.

Hair & Son’s Sponsorship Successes

Hair & Son are passionate about supporting the local communities that surround our offices and are continually impressed by the great community spirit from the local residents. So far this year we have supported Project 49, Southend with raising awareness for World Down Syndrome Day which involved the creation of some eye catching artwork in Southend High Street and more recently we  are proud to have supported a number of local schools to raise much needed funds for their continued progress.

We had a busy start of July, kicking off with our sponsorship event at St. Georges Catholic School. Adrian Bartlett, our Area Manager of Thorpe Bay, commented to say “A fabulous day was had by all at St. Georges School Fete on Friday 5th July. We were especially lucky with the beautiful weather which is always an added bonus on these occasions! Fun and laughter filled the playground, it was a pleasure to meet with so many polite and well-behaved children”. The event was a huge success for the school with a total of £1339.90 raised at the fayre. The funds will go towards replacing the playground equipment and the celebration of the schools 50th anniversary next year.

Hair & Son staff then threw themselves into two sponsorship events in one day for Hinguar Community Primary School in Shoeburyness and Glebe Primary School in Rayleigh. The sales team from Hair and Son Thorpe Bay office enjoyed a fabulous day on Saturday 6th July at Hinguar School fete, Lorraine Webb our Sales Consultant from the office commented to say “The teachers and parents association did such a great job in organising all the different events and displays. The whole day was a great success!“ A member of the PTA, Lauren said “Thank you to Hair & Son for not only sponsoring us but coming to the event to show your support, we had a great day and the current count is £2005 profit”. What a fantastic amount!

Last but most certainly not least staff from our Rayleigh office had a fantastic day of celebrations and shows at Glebe School in Rayleigh. The weather held up and our Rayleigh team enjoyed a day of great entertainment from dance groups, singing choirs, magic shows, Kung Fu and even falconry display. Well done to Jacob Compton for guessing how many balloons in the Hair and Son car and walking away with the Amazon Echo Dot! A brilliant day was had by all.

Anita, a member of the PTA at Glebe wanted to pass on their thanks to the Rayleigh office with a few lines to say “Please thank the lovely ladies who supported us on the day. Our final count is in, we raised just over £3,900 – we’re astounded and it is far more than we anticipated.  This means such a lot for the school and enables us to replace the play equipment in the KS2 playground which is much needed. Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to working with you again!”

10K Walk It for Crohn’s

Congratulations to Ben Zammit from our Southend lettings office and his partner Abbie on completing the 10K ‘’Walk It’’ for Crohn’s and Colitis UK on Saturday 8th June. Abbie was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease aged 18 in 2014 so this event was something close to them. Crohn’s is a chronic condition, this means that it is ongoing and life-long, although people may have periods of good health (remission), as well as times when symptoms are more active (relapses or flare-ups).

With the weather on their side they had a great attendance of over 1700 amazing supporters for the London Walk starting at Bloomsbury Square Gardens. Collectively the cause raised £200,000 so far on the day towards helping to fund the research to find a cure.

Well done Ben & Abbie for supporting such a fantastic cause!

If you too would like to take part in one of the events click the link below.


Essex Wildlife Trust

After a fantastic May Auction held at Saxon Hall, Southend on Sea, the team at Hair & Son were proudly presented with their Essex Wildlife Trust Membership.  Laurence Cox (Partner) commented “We are extremely proud to be an investor with the Essex Wildlife Trust,  Hair & Son are a well-known local firm that has been trading for over 95 years, we sponsor many local events throughout the year and we were very keen to also become an investor in wildlife and enhance our corporate reputation”. Laurence added “We very much look forward to supporting the Essex Wildlife Trust and forming new business relationships with the other corporate members.”

Great Pier Walk 2019

BLUE skies, warm sunshine and no wind helped the Leigh Rotary Club in having a such a great day on Sunday 12th May for their Great Pier Walk. The event was advertised to start at 10am but by 9am people where already queuing up as they patiently waited for the Mayor and Mayoress to arrive.

The event saw nearly 600 people walk the pier and raise money for Southend Hospital For Wards appeal. As sponsors of the event we would like to say a huge thank you for all those who attended on the day in order to raise funds for the charity.

It was great to see you there showing your support for such a great cause.

Princess Trust Donation

The Little Princess Trust

We are proud to announce that Beth Braun of Rona Wickford Office has today raised in excess of £1100 for The Little Princess Trust. Over the last few months Beth has been fundraising for this incredibly worthwhile event and today she completed her target of aiming to raise over £1000. In return for all donations Beth had a whopping 40cm cut from the length of her hair, with this being donated to create hair pieces for children with cancer. On behalf of Beth, we would like to say a huge thank you to all those who kindly donated and hope that both the money raised and the hair which has been donated will assist this amazing charity.

World Down Syndrome Day

Every year World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on 21st March and the global theme this year was “Leave No-one Behind”. Every single person with Down’s Syndrome should have the same opportunities as everyone else, in EVERY area of life.

To raise awareness of the day and to celebrate everyone’s diversity, we teamed up as sponsors with Project 49 and a local artist Nik Vaughn to create some new artwork in Southend High Street.

The day was a great success with lots of people coming down and taking part. If you haven’t seen the artwork featured under the railway yet, pop down and take a look!


Auctions cover a wide range of lots from houses, flats and offices, to land, garages and even whole industrial estates. Whatever you’re looking for, a bargain or investment property, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your criteria at an auction. But the key to securing the best deal lies in the preparation. From the initial search to the sale completion, here we outline some of the main steps you must consider when buying at auction.


Register for our property alerts to be kept up to date by email with all the latest lots that match your requirements. Contact our Auction Team to receive information about upcoming auctions, auction catalogues and late entries.


When you have found a property you are interested in, look at the particulars on our website which will contain details about the lot including photos and guide prices. You may also wish to look through the catalogue which is available on our website normally two weeks before an auction date.

Block Viewings

Be sure to attend one of the block viewings and ask one of the team any questions you may have. If possible, visit the property again at another viewing if you are interested, and also take someone with you to help you make a better judgement before deciding to bid.


As a property at auction may not be in the best condition, it is important to consider having a survey or inspection before you choose to bid. Make sure you have received any reports before the auction so you can make an informed decision before bidding begins.


Appoint solicitors as early in the process as possible. They will need to inspect the legal packs for any properties you are interested in, and check other information such as searches and planning permission, which are all available online. Their advice at this stage could prove invaluable as you cannot change your mind after the hammer falls and you have exchanged contracts.


On the day of the auction, you will need 10% of the purchase price (subject to a minimum amount), any buyer’s premium, as well as the auctioneer’s administration charge. These figures can be found in the catalogue. The remainder of the purchase price and fees will be needed for completion (usually within 28 days of the auction). It is important to also speak with your insurers, as after exchange, you will be responsible for the insurance of the property.

Auction Day

Make sure you check the addendums list which will list any lots that have been withdrawn or sold prior, postponed until a later auction date, or any last-minute changes to the catalogue entries.

Arrive early. The auction room can be very busy with limited space, and if you wish to bid, you should make sure you are in clear view of the auctioneer's rostrum.

Pre-register to bid. Once registered you will receive a bidding number which we will ask you for if you are successful. If you have any questions, be sure to ask one of the Auction Team before the start of the auction. Ensure you make it clear when you wish to bid on a lot, either by raising your hand or holding up a catalogue.


When the hammer falls, you have exchanged contracts and have entered a legally binding sale. If you are the winning bidder, you will need to complete the Memorandum of Sale and pay your deposit and fees.

You will need to have two forms of ID with you; one photographic (e.g. driving licence or passport), and one proof of address (e.g. utility bill dated in the last three months). If multiple people are to be named on the memorandum, you will need ID for all parties.

If a property fails to reach its reserve and it is not sold in the room, you can speak with a member of the Auction Team to express an interest. It may be possible to negotiate a sale after the auction, which would proceed under normal auction rules.

Introducing Rob Hennessy

Starting his career as an office junior and progressing through the ranks to branch management, Rob has over 25 years’ experience as a property professional dealing with residential and commercial sales as well as land and investment transactions. With a clear vision of current market trends as well as areas of the market that are affected by change, Rob is always up to date with the ever changing market.

Rob works closely with all the departments within Hair & Son, combining a vast pool of knowledge and experience to ensure the right result for our clients first time, every time.

Accurate and professional advice is the key to a successful sale at auction which is proven in our year to date success rate of 88%; well above the industry average and the highest in the County.

For an accurate Auction Appraisal contact Rob Hennessy on 01702 39 49 59 or at robhennessy@hairandson.co.uk.

Wishing to Buy or Sell at Auction?

Buying at auction is an exciting way to purchase a property. The Hair & Son auction room is filled with people looking to buy property, from bargain hunters to seasoned investors. This reflects the rising popularity of auction as a route to market offering more certainty for buyers and sellers alike.