4. What Are My Responsibilities Under the Terms of My Lease?

As the tenant of the property, you are required to:

1.  Pay the Rent, Non Domestic Rates, Insurance, Utilities                                           2.  Undertake Repairs and Maintenance
3.  Comply with the Use Clause and Obtain Planning Permission (if required)

Rent

At the commencement of your lease, you will be required to pay the first three months' rent as an initial up-front payment.  After the first quarter, your rent will then be be payable by direct debit from your Bank or Building Society account to the Council. 

The direct debit will collect the rent (and insurance if applicable) in advance on the 16th of every month.

If you are having difficulty meeting your rent commitments or have changed banks, please contact the Council as soon as possible to discuss.

If there is any reason for the Direct Debit to fail, it is in your own interest to contact the Council as your bank may make a charge.

Insurance

Under the terms of the Standard Highland Council Buildings Lease, tenants are responsible for insuring the premises let from the Council.

However, in order to achieve economies of scale, as well as ensuring that all properties owned by the Council remain insured, the Council administers a block policy covering all of their property.

The insurance premium for the block policy is apportioned to the individual tenants in line with anticipated reinstatement costs for each property.

This cost is recovered from you at the same time and in the same manner as your rent.

Should you require to make a claim under the block policy, please contact your Estates Section Area Representative in the first instance.

N.B. The Council’s block policy does not cover all risks - mainly fire, flood, lightning, explosion, aircraft, riot or civil disturbance and storm damage.  The excess amount is £250.  The tenant should arrange their own contents insurance, public liability insurance and plate glass insurance.

Non Domestic Rates

You are responsible for payment of all Non Domestic Rates levied against the premises during the term of your lease.

Utilities (Electricity and Water & Sewerage)

You are responsible for payment of all utility bills arising from your use of the premises during the term of your lease. 

Electricity

As the tenant, it is your responsibility to choose a supplier and pay for the electricity you consume at the property.  You are required to notify your supplier of the meter readings at the commencement and termination of your lease. 

Water & Sewerage

Water and sewerage charges are levied separately from Non-Domestic Rates.  Since 1 April 2008, all business customers have been able to choose who supplies their water and sewerage services. It is the tenant’s responsibility to choose a supplier and arrange payment of charges on taking entry to the property. Further information and contact details for all current licensed water suppliers can be found at www.scotlandontap.gov.uk

Repairs and Maintenance

Under the terms of the Standard Highland Council Building Lease, tenants are responsible for repairing and maintaining their unit and/or yard in good order.

Such repair and maintenance includes replacing any elements of the unit as and when required, and regular redecoration of all previously decorated items. 

Regular maintenance of your premises is good practice and lessens the possibility of major repairs at the end of your lease.

Where your lease is not specific about frequency of repairs, the following guide should be followed in order to comply with good practice:

Continually Monitor:

Roofs for leaks and carry out such repairs as required in a professional manner.

Rainwater goods to ensure gutters and downpipes are kept clear, free-flowing and without leaks.

External walls for cracks/damage and repair as required, including reinstatement of surface finishes as necessary.

External paving slabs, pavoirs and the like for cracks/subsidence etc and repair as appropriate.

Boundary fencing, effecting repairs as necessary and in conjunction with neighbouring Tenants/owners as appropriate.

Internal and external plumbing installations including supply and drainage pipework, sanitary installations, storage tanks, etc. Carry out all repairs and replacements as required.

Door and window furniture and in particular the roller shutter door to ensure smooth operation and security.

All electrical systems and appliances to ensure compliance with relevant guidelines/legislation. 

It is a condition of your lease that fixed electrical systems are maintained, which should be carried out by a competent electrician.  Test and certify as required.

Gas appliances, if any, should be inspected and maintained on a yearly basis by a CORGI registered tradesman.  This requires to include a gas safety certificate.

All alarm/firefighting systems etc and ensure compliance with relevant guidelines/legislation. Test and certify as required.

At least once every three years:

Thoroughly prepare and redecorate all previously painted external timbers with two coats best quality gloss paint in colours to match pre-existing.

Primer and undercoat also to be applied where bare timbers exposed during preparation.

Thoroughly prepare and redecorate all previously stained external timbers with two coats best quality preservative timber stain in shades to match pre-existing.

At least once every five years:

Thoroughly prepare and redecorate all previously painted internal and external metalwork (including sectional up-and-over doors as required) with two coats suitable best quality gloss paint in colours to match pre-existing.

Primer and undercoat also to be applied where bare metal exposed during preparation.

Prepare and redecorate all internal walls and ceilings previously painted with one coat best quality emulsion paint to match pre-existing finish.

Additional coats to be applied as required to achieve full coverage. Include for filling holes etc in walls as required.

Thoroughly prepare and redecorate all previously painted internal timbers with two coats best quality gloss paint in colours to match pre-existing.

Thoroughly prepare and redecorate all previously varnished or stained internal timbers with two coats best quality varnish/preservative timber stain to match pre-existing finishes.

Use Clause & Planning Permission

You must continue to occupy and use the premises for the business activity detailed within your lease.

Should you wish to change the business activities carried out within the premises. you must inform the Property Section immediately as formal Landlord’s Consent will be required.

You should be aware that Landlord’s permission may not be granted for uses which are not in keeping with the property's location or are contrary to policy.

It is also essential that you inform the Property Section to ensure that any change of use is noted on the block insurance policy.

You should also check with your local Planning & Building Standards Office to establish if Planning Permission is required for your proposed new use.

Should Planning Permission be required, it will be your responsibility as tenant to ensure that this is formally obtained before commencing your new business activities.