Leases are arguably the most important of all commercial property documents. A lease is an estate in land whose duration is either fixed at the outset, or can be fixed later by a notice to quit given by either landlord or tenant. Surveyors must understand the leasing process and all of the documents involved.

In the current economic climate, break clauses are being used increasingly. A break is a clause permitting either landlord or tenant, or both, to bring a fixed-term lease to an end early by a notice expiring on one or more pre-agreed dates.

Note that, although commercial leasing practice in Scotland and Northern Ireland is similar, the legal systems are different from those in England and Wales.

This section is maintained by Paul Clark of Cripps LLP.