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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22618
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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How would I go about renting out a large garage as a workshop?

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How would I go about renting out a large garage as a workshop? I understand from reading other answers that it would need a business licence - how would I get this? - is it expensive? - does it mean I'd be liable for another round of council-type tax?

Would I also need to get special insurance and would I be I liable if someone injures themselves whilst using their own equipment in the space?

Have you spoken to the landlord? Workshop to do what?

We need full background please

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry, should have made it clear - I own a large workshop and am wondering what is involved in renting it out to someone else.

It really depends on whether
you want to rent it out short-term or long-term.

If you want to rent it out
short-term then do it by way of a licence and if you want to let it out long
term, then do it by way of a lease.

The rule in law is that the
occupier of the building is responsible for anyone who is injured on it and of
the building is not occupied, then it is the owner.

It is normal for proposed
tenant to pay the legal cost of preparing the lease or the licence or at least,
make a contribution towards it.

You might want to consider
taking a rent deposit.

You would normally make it a
condition of the lease or the license that the tenant pays for insurance but
because they would not normally do it, you arrange the insurance and collect
the insurance premium as part of the rent.

Similarly with council tax,
the council tax or business rates account is in the name of the tenant and is
payable by the tenant.

As you appreciate, there is a
lot to this and there have been volumes and volumes written on commercial leases
and the licences and therefore it is impossible to cram all that information
into a few paragraphs.

Solicitor will charge between
£500 and £2000 for drafting the necessary document depending on the size of the
building, and the rent.

I am happy to answer specific


Does that answer the
question? I am happy to answer specific points.

Can I help further?

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offline shortly until later today and will pick this up then

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer, that is really helpful. One further point: assuming that I can wait until there is a tenant before setting up licence or lease, would I then become permanently liable for a business rate tax on the workshop regardless of whether there was a tenant or not?

I don't know how it is
rated now.

The secret here is to make
sure that the business rates of a liability in the lease or the license of the
tenant. That way, the tenant remains responsible for the rates.

If the tenant fails to pay
rent, do not foreclose on the lease unless you have another tenant to going because
the tenant remains liable for the rates.

I have a landlord client with
a huge unit on which the rent is £40,000 per annum. The rates is £20,000 and he
was paying empty building rates. The building was empty for two years.

He has taken a tenant in who
I am of the opinion is unlikely to be a good tenant and he will struggle to get
rent. He is not particularly bothered because it means that the council will be
chasing the tenant for rates and not him.

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