REALWorld Law

Commercial leases

Specific regulations for asset classes

Are there any specific regulations and/or laws which apply to leases of particular categories of real estate, such as residential, industrial, offices, retail or hotels and what is their impact?

Angola

Angola

The law establishes specific standards for residential and non-residential purposes. There is mandatory information that must be included in the leases, such as the complete identification of the parties, identification of the leased premises and registry number under tax office, the purpose, term, rent amount and execution date.

Regardless of the purpose of the lease, all buildings or units must be licenced and the lessor must provide evidence of licencing, namely a copy of the use license (certificado de habitabilidade). Failure to comply with this requirement triggers the payment of a fine to the relevant public authority, of a sum not less than three monthly rent payments.

Additionally, all commercial leases must be entered into before a public notary.

Australia

Australia

There are specific laws and regulations governing leases, which vary across the different Australian jurisdictions.

Commercial leases covering industrial property, offices, retail property and hotels are generally governed by case law and statute, although there are specific provisions in the relevant legislation in most Jurisdictions which impact on their terms in generally minor ways. There are also statutory regimes in each Australian jurisdiction that govern the registration of leasehold interests.

Retail property is governed by specific legislation in each jurisdiction (eg Retail Leases Act 1994 (NSW)).

Residential tenancies are also governed by specific legislation in each jurisdiction (eg the Residential Tenancies Act 1987 (NSW)) and residential tenants have many statutory rights, so specific advice should be sought.

Belgium

Belgium

Office (and warehouse) leases are subject to the general provisions of the Civil Code. These also apply by default to the other types of lease agreements on any point not expressly covered by specific legislation.

Commercial leases are subject to the mandatory Commercial Lease Act or, as the case may be, the Regional pop-up lease regulations. In principle the provisions of the Commercial Lease Act and the Regional pop-up lease regulations, although they are not of a public order (d’ordre public/openbare orde), have an imperative nature (droit impérative/dwingend recht). This implies that where parties decide to deviate from the imperative provisions of the Commercial Lease Act or the Residential Lease Act, the agreement would be invalid (on that specific point). Within the Commercial Lease Act and the Regional pop-up lease regulations, the protected party is in most cases the tenant. Pursuant to a Supreme Court Judgment of 9 September 2019, it has been established that the protected party may not contractually waive his right to invoke the fact that such an agreement would be invalid. Such a waiver is only possible once the right has materialized. Only those provisions of the Commercial Lease Act and the Regional pop-up lease regulations where the law unequivocally states that parties may agree otherwise are of a supplementary nature (droit supplétif/aanvullend recht).

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Leases of residential property are not regulated by the general provisions governing leases of business buildings and premises. Residential premises cannot be leased for business purposes by companies registered in accordance with the applicable legislation governing companies.

In general the Law on Obligations and the Law on the Lease of Business Buildings and Premises apply to leases of commercial property. The specific conditions which apply to any particular lease depend on the business activities of the tenant.

Canada

Canada

Parties are generally free to contract as they wish in commercial leases covering industrial property, offices, and retail property, subject to case law and specific provisions in the relevant legislation which generally impact on their terms in minor ways. There are also statutory regimes in each Canadian jurisdiction that govern the registration of leasehold interests. Certain uses of leased property (eg hotels) may also be subject to specific legislation that varies across each Canadian jurisdiction and advice from local counsel should be sought as to local laws affecting specific property types.

Residential tenancies are also governed by specific legislation in each jurisdiction (eg the Residential Tenancy Act, SBC 2002, c. 78 (British Columbia)) and residential tenants have specific rights imposed by such statutes, so specific advice should be sought.

China

China

Residential leases must implement the local leasing policies set out by the PRC Government and the housing authorities through the City People's Government in different cities. In particular, the Administrative Measures for Commodity House Leasing apply to leases of commodity houses on state-owned land in urban planning areas.

Croatia

Croatia

Leases of residential property are regulated by the Apartment Rent Act.

Industrial property and offices are normally governed by the general guidelines in the Obligations Act and the Leasing and Sale of Business Premises Act.

Retail leases may allow for turnover rents, where all or part of the rent is determined by the store's profits. They may also include provisions allowing the landlord to maintain a suitable mix of retail tenants.

In addition, retail tenants may be subject to obligations that exist for the benefit of the shopping centre as a whole; for example, an obligation to keep open and trade during specified hours and to contribute towards the marketing of the centre. Although the landlord will maintain the structure and exterior of the premises, a retail tenant may be given the right to maintain its own shop front in its usual trading style.

Hotel leases are similar to office leases, except where the hotel is located in a shopping complex, in which case the lease will have more of the characteristics of a retail lease. Hotel leases often contain detailed provisions relating to the management of the property or, alternatively, the management arrangements may be set out in a separate document providing for a dedicated hotel management company.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Leases of real estate are governed by the Civil Code, which contains general rules as well as special provisions for real estate and its use. There are specific provisions for residential property, premises used for business purposes and ancillary facilities.

Denmark

Denmark

Applicable legislation:

  • Law no. 1218, 11 October 2018 (the Commercial Rent Act)
  • Law no. 927, 4 September 2019 (the Rent Act)
  • Law no. 928, 4 September 2019 (the Social Rent Act)
  • Law no. 929, 4 September 2019 (the Rent Regulation Act)

The Commercial Rent Act regulates all non-residential lettings.

Residential lettings are governed by the Rent and the Rent Regulation Act.

The Social Rent Act deals only with social housing.

France

France

Residential leases are governed by the specific law on residential leases. They are normally granted for terms of three years, and require a cash deposit corresponding to one month's rent.

Office, industrial and warehouse premises are usually let under the commercial leases regime, with the level of rent determined by reference to the market value of similar premises.

Professional premises (let to lawyers, doctors etc) are usually let under professional leases with a duration of six years. The lease can be terminated by the tenant at any time by giving six months' notice.

Lettings of retail space and hotels are governed by the commercial leases regime.

Furthermore, in order to contain the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and avoid a worsening of the tenant’s situation, the French governmental authorities have adopted general and temporary tenant’s protective measures that do not distinguish between leases of particular categories of real estate but between natural or legal person’s size/situation/category and which are related to the application modalities of the leases sanctions and to the possible moratoriums granted to the tenants in case of non-payment of their rent (it being specified that no rent discount is applicable per se).

Germany

Germany

The legal framework is the same for all leases. They are governed by the provisions of the civil code. However, it is important to note that in the case of commercial leases (including leases of industrial property, retail property, office buildings and hotels) the parties are free to contract as they wish to a much greater extent than in the case of leases of residential premises.

The courts may control the terms of a lease under the general provisions of the law dealing with standard terms and may declare certain onerous contractual terms void. Typically, they do this in order to grant greater protection to tenants in residential leases. This is not as common in relation to commercial agreements. The principle behind this is that commercial negotiation has or should have taken place.

Hong Kong, SAR

Hong Kong, SAR

Both residential and commercial leases covering industrial property, offices, retail property and hotels are generally governed by the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7 of the Laws of Hong Kong), the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap. 128 of the Laws of Hong Kong) and the Occupiers' Liability Ordinance (Cap. 314 of the Laws of Hong Kong).

Hungary

Hungary

There are some distinctions between residential leases and commercial leases.

Residential lease tenants generally enjoy stronger protection than in the case of commercial leases. Termination for non-payment and the procedure to be followed by the landlord during termination is regulated in great detail and parties are not allowed to contract out of these statutory provisions. Also, the tenant is provided with a step-in right to carry out any repair and maintenance works which the landlord has failed to carry out and to recover all reasonable costs associated with such works from the landlord.

In commercial leases the parties enjoy great contractual freedom and are able to contract out of most provisions of the Hungarian Civil Code and the Leasing Act, allowing landlords to implement standard, institutional lease agreements in Hungary.

Ireland

Ireland

The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011, Section 88, requires all commercial tenants to file a return to the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) with the particulars of their lease. Failure to do so carries a penalty fine.

Residential property

The Residential Tenancies Act 2004, as amended in 2015, 2016 and 2019, applies to leases of residential property in Ireland. It covers all aspects of the private rented residential sector including the obligations of the landlord and tenant, rent and rent review, notice periods and termination of tenancy agreements, and security of tenure for tenants. The Residential Tenancies Board, which was created by this legislation, resolves disputes between landlords and tenants, operates a system of tenancy registration and provides information and policy advice.

Industrial property

The Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 as amended by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994 is of particular relevance to leases of industrial property in Ireland as it provides for a number of statutory reliefs to tenants of commercial premises. For example, a commercial tenant that has been in continuous occupation of commercial premises for a period of five years is normally entitled to a new tenancy on the termination of the existing agreement.

Retail property

The Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 as amended by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994 is of particular relevance to leases of retail property in Ireland as it provides for a number of statutory reliefs to tenants of commercial premises. For example, a commercial tenant that has been in continuous occupation of commercial premises for a period of five years is normally entitled to a new tenancy on the termination of the existing agreement.

The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 contains a prohibition on upwards only rent review clauses in all new commercial leases entered into from 28 February 2010 . All new rent review clauses will be 'neutral', ie they can not be upwards only. There is no change to rent review provisions in existing leases and the legislation is not retrospective.

Offices

The Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 as amended by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994 is of particular relevance to leases of offices in Ireland as it provides for a number of statutory reliefs to tenants of commercial premises. For example, a commercial tenant that has been in continuous occupation of commercial premises for a period of five years is normally entitled to a new tenancy on the termination of the existing letting.

Hotels

The Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1980 as amended by the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1994 is of particular relevance to leases of hotels in Ireland as it provides for a number of statutory reliefs to tenants of commercial premises. For example, a commercial tenant that has been in continuous occupation of commercial premises for a period of five years is normally entitled to a new tenancy on the termination of the existing letting.

Ireland's liquor legislation may be also of relevance. A hotel lease may contain covenants to comply with liquor licensing legislation and the terms of the particular hotel licence, publican's licence, and public dancing licence attached to the premises. Also of relevance are the Food Hygiene Regulations 1950 which state that all 'food premises' must be registered with the relevant health authority.

Agricultural land

In the case of agricultural land, a potential lessee will need to check if there is a milk quota attached to the property in accordance with the European Communities (Milk Quota) Regulations 2000, as amended. In addition, there are a large number of environmental regulations at European and national level which will be relevant, covering areas such as water/air/soil pollution and waste management. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for environmental licensing and the regulation of activities that have a significant polluting potential. Its powers are derived from the Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992, the Waste Management Act 1996 and the Protection of the Environment Act 2003.

Italy

Italy

Residential leases must have a minimum term of at least four years. When the initial term expires these leases are automatically renewed for a further period of four years on the same conditions, unless the parties agree otherwise. In certain circumstances where standard agreements are used, the term can be reduced to three years, renewable for a further two years. In order to be valid these leases must be in writing. Upon the end of the lease initial term, the landlord can deny the automatic renewal only in specific circumstances, as set forth under the applicable tenancy law (including, inter alia, in the event it intends to transfer the property to a third party but, in such a case, the tenant would have a pre-emption right). The tenant can terminate the agreement at any time if ‘serious’ issues arise by giving six months’ prior notice. Pre-emption rights do not normally apply in the case of residential leases (except for the case mentioned herein above) unless it is expressly agreed otherwise.

The minimum term for leases of industrial, office and retail property is six years and for a hotel nine years. If premises are used for activities involving contact with the public, tenants are entitled to be indemnified for any loss of goodwill on termination of the lease. This amount is equal to 18 times the last monthly rent paid (21 times in the case of a hotel). If the premises are let within a year to a tenant carrying out the same or similar activities as the former tenant, a further indemnity of the same amount is payable to the former tenant. The payment of this indemnity to the tenant is a condition precedent for the surrender of the premises to the landlord. The indemnity is not due if:

  1. the tenant decides not to renew the lease contract;
  2. the tenant decides to exercise a break option;
  3. the lease contract is terminated due to the tenant’s breach of the contract, or
  4. the lease contract is terminated in the context of a winding-up procedure.

If the premises are used for activities involving contact with the public, the tenant has a pre-emption right in case of sale of the leased property (ie landlord must offer the tenant the opportunity to purchase the premises on the same terms and conditions as any other potential buyer) and in case of new lease of the leased property once the former lease is expired.

The tenant is allowed to sublease the leased property (unless the lease contract contains an express prohibition to sublease) while the assignment of the lease is subject to the landlord’s prior consent. However, in case the lease is assigned or the premises are sub let to a third party as part of an ongoing business carried on by the tenant at the premises, the tenant may sub let or assign the lease without the landlord’s consent.

All of these provisions protecting the tenant are mandatory.

Retail leases, in particular the leases for property within shopping centres, may have turnover rents where all or part of the rent is determined by the store’s profits.

Retail tenants may also be subject to obligations which exist for the benefit of the shopping centre as a whole, for example an obligation to open and trade during specified hours and to contribute towards marketing the centre.

Although the landlord will maintain the structure and exterior of the premises, a retail tenant may be given the right to maintain its own shop front in its usual trading style.

Japan

Japan

There are no specific regulations applicable to particular classes of leases.  The Civil Code and the Act on Land and Building Leases (ALBL) are the main laws governing leases in Japan.  These laws provide several mandatory provisions which the parties cannot contract away, such as:

  • a lessor's renewal obligation in the case of an ordinary lease;
  • the prohibition of a lessor's early termination of the lease; and
  • a lessee's right to adjust the rent of an ordinary lease in accordance with economic circumstances.

For further details, please refer to the ‘Security of tenure’, ‘Early termination’ and ‘Changes in rent’ sections.

Netherlands

Netherlands

All leases are governed by the Dutch Civil Code.

Legislation distinguishes the following categories of regular lease (huur):

(a) a private housing lease;

(b) a retail lease (a lease of commercial space to be used for purposes such as retail, hotels or restaurants, that are open to the public); and

(c) an industrial lease (for other types of commercial space such as offices, factories, warehouses, banks or storage).

The applicable mandatory regime differs for each type of lease. The primary use of the real estate usually determines whether the lease falls in category a, b or c.

In addition to general provisions, the Dutch Civil Code also contains specific provisions that apply to each category of lease.

Nigeria

Nigeria

The laws regulating leases in Nigeria are not specifically targeted to separate and distinct categories of real property. There are no specific laws promulgated to regulate real property in the categories of either residential, commercial, offices, retail or hotels. There are however, in the various states similar regulations applicable to all forms of tenancies, irrespective of the categorization of the property.

The Nigerian Constitution empowers the States within the Federation to make regulations with respect to recovery of premises, rent control, land use and property rights subject to the provisions of the Land Use Act.

In ascertaining real property interests and rights, much reliance is placed on case law as espoused by judicial authorities and are overriding and applicable as municipal laws regulating all forms of real property rights together with relevant statutes.

In Nigeria generally, the terms of contract pertaining to all commercial leases are enforceable by the courts, subject to municipal laws. In such instances, irrespective of the agreement of parties on matters such as re-entry and surrender of possession for breach of covenant to pay rent, or termination of the lease or even expiry of the terms agreed, the lessor must comply with the requirement to issue specific notices to quit or notice of owner’s intention to recover possession and wait for the notice period to lapse before commencing legal action to evict the lessee (as tenant) from the property.

Norway

Norway

Leases of residential property are governed by the Tenancy Act. There is also earlier act of 1939 (now repealed) on tenancies, which still regulates fixed-termed contracts which were entered into before the current Tenancy Act came into force.

In general, the conditions agreed should not be less favourable to the tenant than those provided for under the Tenancy Act.

Leases of commercial property are governed by the Tenancy Act. Agreements may, with certain exceptions, deviate from the provisions of this act, allowing parties to agree on a wide variety of terms for leases.

Poland

Poland

Residential leases

The Protection of Tenants and Municipal Housing Resources Act protects all tenants in both the public and private sectors, but does not apply to letting agreements for boarding houses, hotels, halls of residence and dormitories, or premises which are at the disposal of the Military Housing Agency.

The scope of the term 'tenant' has been treated in a broad sense by the provisions of this Act.

All tenancies are held to be indefinite unless the tenant agrees otherwise. There are limitations on the size of security deposit that can be required and the extent to which the tenant can be required to repair the property.

The level of rent is not regulated but it cannot be increased without bringing the lease to an end and renewing it with the rent at a higher level. The tenant has certain rights to contest this.

The grounds on which the landlord can terminate a residential lease are limited.

Leases of commercial property

There are no specific regulations apart from the general law applying to leases of commercial property. There are some statutory regulations affecting the liability of a hotel operator for loss or damage to property made to the hotel by a hotel guest, unless the loss or damage occurred as a result of superior force, the nature of the property itself or the actions of the guest.

Portugal

Portugal

The general law regarding urban property is established in the Civil Code.

The law establishes specific standards for residential and non-residential leasing. The most important differences refer to the standards regarding duration, notice periods of termination and opposition to the renewal.

Legal relationships in store lettings in shopping centres or retail parks have been governed by atypical contracts, in which different provisions than the usual ones are included in the contracts.

Decree Law 15/2014, of 23 January enacted the second amendment to the regulations governing the development, operation and functioning of tourist establishments approved by Decree Law 39/2008 as amended by Decree Law 228/2009.

Decree Law 15/2014 aims to adjust and adapt the legal framework governing the activity of tourist establishments to the current economic environment and hence the need to equip the sector for greater efficiency, a reduction in costs and the removal of bureaucratic restrictions. Leases for purposes related to tourism, known as Alojamento Local, are governed by Decree-Law No. 128/2014, of 29 August, as amended by Decree Law No. 63/2015, of 23 April.

Romania

Romania

All types of lease agreements are governed by the Romanian Civil Code which generally provides for rules and regulations that can be contractually excluded by the parties. However, leases of dwellings must also comply with certain restrictions and specific regulations protecting the interests of tenants. In addition, agreements for the use of agricultural land must comply with certain specific legislative provisions.

Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic

The Slovakian Civil Code lays down regulations for leasing residential premises (ie apartments). The Act on Short-term Apartment Leasing governs apartment leases for terms of up to six years. For commercial leases, the general provisions contained in the Civil Code and the specific provisions of the Act on Leasing and Subleasing Commercial Premises apply. In addition, a lease of agricultural land and forests is regulated by the Leases of Agricultural Land, Agricultural Holding and Forests Act.

Spain

Spain

The legal framework is the same for all leases. They are governed by the provisions of the Urban Leases Act (as amended by Royal Decree Law 7/2019 (Medidas Urgentes en Materia de Vivienda y Alquiler)  or the Civil Code.

Under Royal Decree 235/2013, a copy of the energy efficiency certificate must be provided to the tenant on the execution of a new lease. Industrial premises are excluded from this obligation.

Sweden

Sweden

All leases are governed by the Swedish Rental Act, which is incorporated as chapter 12 of the Swedish Land Code. Unless explicitly allowed, it is not possible to agree on terms and conditions less favourable to the tenant than those provided for in the Swedish Rental Act.

Thailand

Thailand

Yes. The Lease of Immovable Property for Commercial and Industrial Activities Act B.E. 2542 applies to leases of commercial and industrial immoveable property. Under this Act, the lease term for a lease of land for commercial and industrial activities can exceed 30 years but must not exceed 50 years, subject to certain requirements.

The key requirements are as follows:

Lease term and lease renewal:

The lease term may exceed 30 years but not exceed 50 years. Upon the expiration of the lease term, the parties may make an agreement to renew the lease, but the new term is not to exceed 50 years from the date that the parties agreed on the renewal.

Location of the land:

The land must be located in one of the following areas:

  • An area zoned for commercial or industrial purposes under the applicable Town Planning laws
  • An area in an industrial estate zone governed by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand

Type of businesses:

  • Commercial activities having an investment cost of not less than THB 20 million
  • Industrial activities that are eligible to receive a certificate of promotion under the Investment Promotion Act
  • Commercial or industrial activities that benefit the economic and social status of the country as declared by the Minister of Interior and endorsed by the Cabinet

Note that the type of commercial or industrial activities for which a foreigner can apply for registration must be one which a foreigner can undertake under the Foreign Business Act.

The lease of land for commercial and industrial activities with an area more than 100 rai (one rai is 160,000 square meters) must comply with one of the following additional requirements:

  • The operation of the business must add value to exports or support employment in the country
  • The operation must not have previously existed in the country or be otherwise insignificant
  • The operation must incorporate a unique process or development of high technology
  • The operation must be of benefit to the economic and social status of the country as declared by the Minister of Interior and endorsed by the Cabinet
United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi

Yes (for property located outside of the Abu Dhabi Global Market free zone) and these are as follows:

Residential

There are specific rules relating to residential leases, such as maximum numbers of lessees who are permitted to occupy a single dwelling, which vary depending on whether the property is a villa or an apartment, and the number of rooms in the dwelling.

Two months’ notice for renewal or termination is required for residential leases.

Commercial

Commercial leases have similar rules to those which are applicable to residential leases, with minor exceptions such as the absence of rules concerning the maximum number of individuals who can occupy the leased premises.

Three months’ notice for renewal or termination is required for commercial leases.

Offices

The number of villas that can be used as offices is restricted. Evidence that the villa can be used for office purposes should be obtained (in the form of a certificate from the Abu Dhabi Municipality). If this cannot be produced, the Abu Dhabi Municipality could take enforcement action during the term (and a rent refund might not be available).

Three months’ notice for renewal or termination is required for office leases.

Hotels

These do not fall within the ambit of landlord and tenant legislation and regulations specific to hotels are awaited.

Furnished apartments

These also do not fall within the ambit of landlord and tenant legislation and regulations specific to furnished apartments are awaited. In the meantime, there is limited guidance as to the required specifications/amenities for furnished apartments, being that:

  • Furnished apartments are those comprising (as a minimum) a living room encompassing a sleeping area, dining area (where food can be prepared) and a bathroom (studio), it may consist of one or two more separate rooms.
  • A building to be used as furnished apartments must have a reception office for the lessees.
  • Furnished apartments cannot be rented out for less than two days (with the exception of Al Ain areas or other remote areas so designated from time to time).
  • No services are to be provided.
  • The building may have a laundry and a restaurant on the ground floor.

Falling outside the landlord and tenant legislation may allow the parties more flexibility in terms of avoiding the security of tenure features of the legislation generally governing residential lettings.

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

In general terms, the same laws currently apply to residential, industrial, office and retail leases. The exception to this is accommodation provided by an employer to an employee.

Hotel operating agreements generally do not create a landlord and tenant relationship.

UK - England and Wales UK - England and Wales

UK - England and Wales

Residential tenants have many statutory rights and specific advice should be sought. Many different procedures apply to residential lettings. Please see the residential leases section of this site for more information.

Commercial leases covering industrial property, offices, retail property and hotels are generally governed by case law, with some supplementary statutory provisions particularly in relation to business leases (Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995), land registration (Land Registration Act 2002) and taxation.

Parties are generally free to contract as they wish, although there are some restrictions on contracting out of statutory provisions. In particular, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 provides security of tenure for business tenants which can only be avoided by means of a special procedure.

The 2020 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Professional statement: Code for Leasing Business Premises, England and Wales (1st edition) is a code of practice intended to influence the conduct of landlords and tenants during lease negotiations and after the lease is in place. It contains mandatory requirements for negotiations and heads of terms that must be complied with by landlords and agents who are RICS members and statements of good practice which may be departed from in exceptional circumstances. There is also a professional statement on service charges in commercial property (1st edition) which sets out best practice in the management and administration of service charges and provides some mandatory obligations with which surveyors who are RICS members and firms regulated by the RICS must comply.

Agricultural tenants have many statutory rights and specific advice should be sought.

Commercial leases covering industrial property, offices, retail property and hotels are generally governed by case law, with some supplementary statutory provisions particularly in relation to business leases (Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995), land registration (Land Registration Act 2002) and taxation.

Parties are generally free to contract as they wish, although there are some restrictions on contracting out of statutory provisions. In particular, the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 provides security of tenure for business tenants which can only be avoided by means of a special procedure.

The 2020 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Professional statement: Code for Leasing Business Premises, England and Wales (1st edition) is a code of practice intended to influence the conduct of landlords and tenants during lease negotiations and after the lease is in place. It contains mandatory requirements for negotiations and heads of terms that must be complied with by landlords and agents who are RICS members and statements of good practice which may be departed from in exceptional circumstances. There is also a professional statement on service charges in commercial property (1st edition) which sets out best practice in the management and administration of service charges and provides some mandatory obligations with which surveyors who are RICS members and firms regulated by the RICS must comply.

Agricultural tenants have many statutory rights and specific advice should be sought.

UK - Scotland

UK - Scotland

There is a statutory implied condition in leases in excess of 20 years (subject to exceptions specified in the Land Tenure Reform (Scotland) Act 1974) that the property should not be used as a "private dwelling-house". In addition, leases of residential properties are subject to important statutory regimes relating to matters such as standard of repair, health and safety, and tenancy deposits.

With effect from June 2000, no lease of other types of real estate can be granted for a period of more than 175 years.

Rent for retail premises is sometimes based on business turnover. Depending on the location of the retail premises the tenant may incur further obligations relating to opening hours, servicing times, signage restrictions and other management controls. The landlord may also have the benefit of a pre-emption right in the event that the tenant proposes to transfer its interests under the lease. Hotel leases share some of these features with retail leases.

It is unusual to find office leases with a rent review based on anything other than open market rent.

Ukraine

Ukraine

Under Ukrainian law all specific regulations are agreed on by the parties to the contract but general regulations imposed by Ukrainian law also apply. These include certain essential provisions and dictate the form of the contract.

The leasing of land as opposed to buildings is subject to stricter regulation. Thus, a leased plot of land must be used exclusively in accordance with its designated purpose. Additional restrictions on land use may be imposed by authorized bodies or established by virtue of law. These restrictions depend on the type of land involved, eg protection zones for certain facilities (such as historical monuments, recreational zones or underground utility lines) and areas located near facilities that may cause damage to the environment (such as factories or nuclear power stations), and are subject to special regimes governing their use, eg a prohibition on the construction (total or partial) of specific types of structure), restrictions on carrying out certain kinds of activity etc

Additional restrictions are imposed by Ukrainian law for the use of residential buildings. For example, premises located in residential buildings cannot be used for industrial/production purposes. There are different interpretations of the law as to whether residential buildings may be used for non-residential purposes other than industrial (eg as offices), but the general approach of officials is that any use of residential buildings or premises for purposes other than residential is prohibited. At the same time, there are no substantial penalties or liabilities for using residential premises for other purposes Ukrainian law provides for only immaterial administrative fines in such cases. It is also possible to change the status of residential premises to non-residential.

There is also specific regulation applied to the lease of state and municipal real estate. As the Law ‘On lease of state and municipal real estate’ came into effect on 01 February 2020, a new procedure for the lease of state and municipal real estate was provided for. Under this procedure state and municipal real estate will be included by a competent authority in two separate lists. The real estate from the first list (as opposed to the real estate from the second list) shall be leased out at an auction.

Leases of real estate (other than land, residential apartments and state or municipal real estate leased out on an auction) for terms over three years are subject to state registration, and must be notarized. Leases of state and municipal real estate are also subject to notarization if granted at an auction for a term more than five years. Leases of land are subject to state registration irrespective of the lease term. Lease of residential apartments is not subject to state registration.

United States

United States

Real estate laws and regulations vary from state to state (and among local jurisdictions within each state) and advice from local counsel should be sought as to local laws affecting leases for specific property types. Residential tenants in particular are often accorded additional statutory rights.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

The rights of residential tenants are set out in the Housing and Buildings Act [Chapter 22:07] as well as the Housing and Building Rent Regulations [S.I 32 of 2007]. Commercial property, on the other hand, is regulated by the Commercial Premises Lease Control Act [Chapter 14:04] and the Commercial Premises Lease Control Act Rent Regulations [S.I 676 of 1983].

In terms of the Commercial Premises Lease Control Act Rent Regulations, a commercial premises is defined as ‘any premises or part thereof occupied under a lease for the purpose of carrying on therein any industry, business, trade or occupation, and includes any ground, parking-space, garage, outbuilding, workers’ quarters and other improvement let therewith.’ As such, the definition includes all forms of commercial real estate.

These Acts and their corresponding Regulations are the law which regulate aspects such as the appointment of a rental board, what is considered a fair rental, offences, restrictions on ejectment as well as the various rights and duties of the parties.

Whilst parties have freedom to contract, in order for the lease to be a lawful in terms of Zimbabwean law, the parameters of the legislation must be adhered to. It is for this reason that the rent boards have been established in terms of the legislation, and these boards have powers to hear applications pertaining to any rental issues between the parties and to make an appropriate order.