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Leases are very important for not-for-profits. There are some important issues all groups should consider before signing a lease, including:
- can the organisation continue to afford the lease for its duration?
- when and how can the lease be terminated by the parties?
- is there an option to renew the lease for a further term?
- who will pay for utilities?
- what law covers the lease (depending on the type of lease, different standard conditions may apply)
- what insurance does the landlord have and what insurance will you need?
- does the premises meet your requirements for service users or employees? Do you need to ask the landlord to make any alterations? Is this documented in the lease?
You should also remember to complete and return a condition report as soon as possible and take photos to back up any concerns.
Signing up to a lease is an important step, and there are some issues to look out for. The Not-for-profit Law leasing fact sheet below outlines some key issues to think about including:
- how incorporation is relevant to leasing property
- identifying the type of lease your organisation is being asked to sign
- tips for negotiating a lease
- rights and obligations under a lease, and
- what to do when things go wrong with a lease or leased premises.