For over a year, GPC and NHSPS have been in negotiation to improve conditions for GPs who occupy NHSPS-owned properties. These negotiations, which were supported by BMA Law, have now reached a conclusion, with one of the main outcomes being the creation of a template lease.
If your practice occupies an NHSPS property on an unwritten or uncertain basis, NHSPS will be writing to you to explain what to do next. When you receive this communication, practices are encouraged to seek legal advice, before entering into any agreement.
What to do when you hear from NHSPS
- When the letter arrives, read it carefully
- Find a legal representative
- Arrange for NHSPS to survey your premises
- Reach an agreement with NHSPS on the terms of occupation (this includes rent and length of tenancy)
- Check the following carefully
- Confirm break clauses are included
- That reviewed/revised rents match reimbursement entitlements
- That you are not liable for repair issues which pre-date your occupation
- Services charges are reasonable and transparent*
- Agree all terms and sign the documents
- Claim your funding
- Agree facilities management service and the costs involved
* if necessary, ensure that costs will not exceed those historically paid, unless the increased cost is reimbursed
Why is legal advice important?
True to its name, the ‘template lease’ is just that: a template. While it offers guidance on what a lease should look like, the final document should be bespoke to you. A lease is a legally binding document, so the wording must be precise in order to avoid disputes during or at the end of your tenancy.
The good news is that until November 2017, NHS England will cover the SDLT (stamp duty land tax), and contribute towards any legal costs incurred when negotiating a new lease, so make sure you act now in order to benefit from these savings.
Why work with BMA Law?
In addition to NHS England’s contributions towards SDLT and legal fees, there are a number of other terms that they have agreed to honour. Sector-specific legal advice is recommended to ensure that you get the best out of the lease.
In addition to NHS England’s commitment to cover SDLT and contribute towards legal fees when negotiating a new lease, there are a number of other aspects that you should ensure are covered. These include:
- Break clauses
- Reviewed or revised rents must match reimbursement entitlements
- VAT charges will be subject to practices’ ability to claim reimbursement
- Practices will not be liable for repair issues that predate their occupation
- Service charges will be reasonable and billing will be transparent
You should seek expert legal advice to ensure that the full range of commitments are unlocked so you get the best out of your new lease.
Thanks to our unique relationship with BMA, BMA Law is well placed to provide the advice you’re looking for. As we assisted in the negotiations, we have the detailed knowledge required to ensure that benefits negotiated by the BMA are met.
Contact our specialist lawyers today
Whether you have already been contacted by NHSPS about your lease, or would simply like to find out more, BMA Law can provide expert advice. Contact us on:
020 7383 6119