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Acquiring a Winkworth office - locations and leases

There are many factors to think about when opening a Winkworth office, however near to the top is location.

If you look at our offices, although not huge, we like to be in prominent eyesight; outside train stations and in corner units on high streets ensuring that we have a great presence for walk-ins.

A factor that could potentially become an obstacle is the lease on a unit. There are several standard terms to be agreed in a lease – which could become a lengthy and complicated process.

You, as franchisee, will negotiate the lease, and it is important in securing the unit to make yourself as desirable as possible. You may offer a long lease, and pay the rent in lump sums agreed with the agent and landlord, i.e. ‘payable quarterly in advance’, or six months upfront and the second six months in a lump sum; ‘half yearly in advance’. You may need to make an offer for the premium – known as ‘key money’ when taking out a ‘new’ lease.

You will need to offer a deposit - the amount in months’ rent you intend to offer as a rental deposit (generally 3-6 months), dependant on the strength of the company. Landlords look for recognised brands as tenants. Winkworth is an attraction option as we approve franchisees and rarely close our offices, but resell instead. We only take on good locations and under a trusted brand have a good track record.

Remember to ask about the ‘Security of tenure’. Is the lease to be held ‘within’ or ‘without’ the provisions of the Landlord and Tenancy Act 1954? Within means the landlord legally has to offer you, ‘the tenant’ a new lease once the original lease expires if you ask for it to be renewed (except if the property is being redeveloped). Without means the landlord does not have to renew the lease if requested by the tenant.

Rent review structures can be proposed by yourself. Bear in mind that the industry standard is for rent reviews to be five yearly and upward only. This means that rent can only go up in line with market rent. Rents can also regularly be reviewed every three years, and sometimes are linked with RPI (Retailers pricing index) aka inflation.

Head office will endeavour to aid the acquiring of a lease for a potential franchisee if we believe the location is best placed, and subject to full due diligence and contract.

To find out how you can become part of Winkworth contact our New Franchising team

James Campbell | Gina Piper | 0207 355 0200

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