It is usual for landlord’s consent to be required for the transfer of a pharmacy lease to a purchaser. Such consent is generally not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed. The lease will set out a non-exhaustive list of circumstances where a landlord may refuse consent.
They may also be entitled to seek security in the form of a rent deposit or guarantee. Consent will also normally be required for any underletting, group sharing or charging.
A lease will expressly provide what alterations require the landlord’s prior consent. These can include structural and non-structural alterations. The landlord will want the pharmacist to decorate the pharmacy at regular intervals and may want to have a say in the materials, designs and colours.
Whether or not the landlord’s consent is to be unreasonably withheld or not is a matter of negotiation.
A lease will state the use that is permitted, and changing or expanding the use will usually require the landlord’s consent. Specific planning advice should be sought in this case and landlord’s consent may be required for a planning application. Some leases will prohibit any change.
Shopfront and fascia signage will also generally require the consent of the landlord. Ideally this is sought at the same time as applying for consent to the initial pharmacy fit-out works to save time and cost.
Some signage may be permitted without the need for consent, but each pharmacy lease will differ. Pharmacy owners will usually be required to pay the landlord’s costs of any application for consent.
Heather Cross is associate solicitor in the pharmacy property litigation team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.
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