What to find out from the leaseholder
It is important to get as much information as possible from the leaseholder before you make a decision about your new workspace, and compare different potential spaces and their leases.
You will need to know if you have to sign a lease (recommended!), how long it is valid for, what is included (i.e. heating, lighting), and what additional costs there might be (i.e. VAT, business rates).
You also need to ask who’s responsible for repairs and whether there are any restrictions on the type of equipment or materials you can use. Find out how secure the building is and if you can have 24-hour access. Other considerations include:
- Do they offer any administration or training support?
- Are there any noise restrictions?
- How will you be able to heat the space?
- How much are the business rates?
- Are there any raw materials or processes not allowed in the building? e.g. firing a kiln
- Is the lease holder insured, and what insurance policies do you need to take out?
It is also a good idea to speak to other tenants about their experiences of working in the building to find out if there are any issues you should be aware of.
You may need to have a lease or tenancy agreement drawn up by a solicitor, if the leaseholder does not provide you with one. It should cover: how long the agreement will last for, who is responsible for any repairs and additional costs, can you share the space, and any additional points that are important to you.
It is advisable to check with the local authority that the workshop you want to lease has planning permission to be used for this purpose. If it doesn’t you will have to submit an application.
You might also like to read a related workspace posts: How and where to find a suitable (international) workspace? and 7 Point check list to find a workspace that works for you.