For commercial properties held in a SIPP or SSAS, our pension property solicitors can help you deal with all aspects of their ongoing management. Through our specialist legal services, we aim to offer you and other pension scheme members the peace of mind that the scheme is delivering the maximum return on investment.
Whether putting in place new occupational leases, entering in to deeds of variations or preparing a licence for alterations, our legal team is here to help and make the whole process as simple as possible.
While a property is held in a pension scheme, it needs to be income producing for the scheme.
Steele Raymond can provide the legal documents and the management expertise, which will ensure that the SIPP or SSAS commercial property operates beneficially for both the landlord and the tenant throughout each stage of ownership.
PENSION PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Helping you and your clients to get the most value from SIPP or SSAS investments
The terms of a new lease are important for both the SIPP or SSAS landlord and the incoming tenant.
Our role is to act for the pension trustee in the drafting and negotiation of the lease, ensuring that it complies with the pension scheme’s requirements.
The majority of commercial tenants will have the right to renew the lease at the end of the lease term under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.
We can serve any notices and issue proceedings required for a statutory lease extension as well as dealing with more informal extensions.
Most occupational leases contain a clause which prevents the tenant from dealing with the lease without the landlord’s prior consent.
In some instances, the tenant may wish to transfer their remaining interest in the lease to another party and accordingly a licence to assign would need to be entered into by the landlord, existing tenant and proposed new tenant. In return for the new tenant covenanting to comply with the tenant’s covenants in the lease, the landlord would provide their consent to the remaining interest in the lease being transferring to the new tenant.
On other occasions the tenant may wish to sub-let part of the property and, before doing, so the landlord, tenant and sub-tenant would enter into a licence to underlet which would give permission (subject to conditions) to the tenant to sub-let the property.
A rent deposit is often paid by the tenant to the landlord when a lease is granted or transferred, as security against arrears and dilapidations or other breaches of the lease.
It is often the case that a commercial tenant wishes to make alterations to the property and will require landlord’s consent to do so. The licence to alter protects the landlord and the property for the future.
For a SIPP or SSAS landlord and tenant who have agreed to vary the terms of their lease. It provides a framework which can be used by the parties to document the changes that they have agreed.
If there is a commercial advantage, the pension scheme may agree to take an early surrender of a lease or of part of it.
For instance, where another tenant wants to use part of a building already let to the members’ company, there may be an increase in rental income from two tenants each occupying part of the building.
Occasionally the SIPP or SSAS landlord and the tenant agree that, at the end of a given rental period, the tenant shall have the option of renewing the lease for a further period or purchasing the property at open market value.
Avoid the pitfalls with specialist SIPP and SSAS scheme management
There are instances where the tenant of a SIPP or SSAS property wishes to carry out alterations to the building at the discretion and consent of the landlord. Commercial properties are invariably viewed as shell buildings and are constructed without fit out for their specific usage. Any plans to alter the building should be approved and documented by the tenant and the scheme before building works take place.
Providing the correct procedures are followed and the works are documented, the tenant will benefit from rent disregard at rent review and the landlord will be able to insist on any modifications being removed by the tenant at the termination of the lease.
Sometimes the scheme or the tenant (or both if they are connected) wish to make significant changes and improvements to a building, such as an extension or a mezzanine floor. This kind of upgrade will lead to the property having a higher rental value.
If the capital investment in the works has been funded by the pension scheme, it will want the lease rent to be varied to obtain the benefit of its investment from the date of completion of the works, regardless of the rent review pattern in the lease.
On renewal, a tenant is entitled to a new lease on the same terms as their old lease, except as to rent and reasonable updating taking account of changes in the law. The renewal procedure can be streamlined where we have dealt with the original grant of the lease, as we know the property and the form of lease. It can be a very straightforward process.
The rent must be a market rent and where the tenant is connected to the pension scheme it must be established by independent valuation.
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