Commercial Signage Clauses

March 13, 2017

Are you a commercial tenant taking up new premises? Maybe you are updating the frontage of your existing leased property with a new eye catching fascia? Either way, you will be keen that your new and expensive signage is highly noticeable and attracts the sort of attention you desire. But how do you ensure it does not attract the wrong sort of attention – the wrath of your landlord?

‘Signage Clauses’ are often inserted into commercial leases to regulate how a tenant displays signs at the premises. They may not be immediately apparent either, being hidden under an ‘Alterations Clause’.
Why are they popular?

Landlords have a vested interest in controlling the presentation of a property in order to maintain the uniformity and character of an area and thus keeping up rents. Conditions imposed can even extend to posters inside the premises which are visible from the street in an effort to enforce a particular style.

Just how much control a landlord requires depends on the nature of the location; obviously, a titillating silhouette acceptable in Soho is unlikely to pass muster in an up market shopping mall. An unwary tenant can end up being prevented from creating the look they want. In some cases the landlord can even remove the offending displays at the tenant’s expense!

As a tenant, you will want to ensure that the controls on your company styling are not too onerous and you are free to dress the shop in the style you see fit.  Disputes which arise after the lease is taken out can be very expensive, as can remediation work. Attempts to circumnavigate clauses by putting signs inside and installing glass fronts can turn out to be very costly errors indeed.

So what should tenants do?

It is important to understand the landlord’s position and lease conditions from the start. Careful negotiation when drafting the lease will prevent problems later when it is too late to back out. You would be surprised at the number of deals which hang on the size of the lettering, colours, or even position of signs deemed permissible.

We have a wealth of experience in dealing with complex lease negotiations and know how important it is to consider every point. Make sure you speak to us to guarantee all your lease conditions suit you before you ‘sign’.

The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.

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