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Tenants could sub-let their premises to other businesses that need the space during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gus Haslam, head of London and south-east, logistics and industrial at Knight Frank said: “While there are businesses looking to secure short term emergency space there are others firefighting to stay afloat. Some business are considering allowing other businesses that are doing better to utilise their premises.”

Mike Price, partner at Fisher German, said: “The vast majority of leases already allow you to sub let in principal.  It should be an easy conversation with landlord to get authority to sub let.”

“There may need to be some liaison with landlords but most would be receptive to requirements like this.”

The majority of sub-lets are usually set at market rent but during the pandemic it would be understandable to accept the passing rent i.e. the rent the tenant pays should it be less than the market rent.

A sub letting would follow the form of a lease but what that means in practice is there is already a working document copy in the tenants lease so it should not be onerous or long to put one together allowing the sub-lessee to access the spare property quickly.

Price reiterated that: “For any tenant wishing to follow this route it is important to secure authority from the landlord in the first instance. It is unlikely that such a request will be dismissed out of hand.”