LEASE UPDATE ISSUED BY GPC IN CONJUNCTION WITH BMA LAW & NHS PROPERTY SERVICES
GPC is aware that some practices are being sent correspondence from their respective landlords which either contain ‘Heads of Terms’ (in the case of NHS Property Services – ‘NHSPS’) or otherwise purport to identify ‘A Summary of Current Occupation’ to be signed off by the practice.
Having asked BMA Law to consider these documents, we are urging all practices to take proper and full advice from either a lawyer or surveyor before agreeing or signing any such documents. The main, although not exclusive, underlying reasons for this are that practices:
- being asked to counter sign a ‘Summary of Current Occupation’, may forfeit some significant and automatically applicable statutory rights to remain in the premises under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954;
- should ensure that any Heads of Terms are not legally binding and are ‘subject to contract’; and
- should ensure that any Heads of Terms adequately protect their interests (e.g. break clauses, rent reviews being tied into rent reimbursement under the Premises Cost Directions etc.).
In addition to the above, please be aware that neither GPC nor the wider BMA have endorsed any standard lease. However, NHS PS have shown a significant desire to engage with the BMA and agree a sensible and mutually acceptable standard approach in respect of GPs in NHS PS properties.
As a consequence GPC, with the assistance of lawyers from BMA Law, have had (and are continuing to have) extremely constructive meetings with senior members of the NHS PS team in order to draw up a standard form of lease.
At the point at which a standard lease and approach has been agreed with NHS PS, we will issue an affirmative statement to all LMCs which can be filtered through to all practices. It is expected that this statement will be made shortly.