Pharmacy leases provide for a number of situations where the landlord’s prior consent is required.  Here we explore some of the more common lease provisions where this is needed.

ALIENATION

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 of the pharmacy.

ALTERATIONS AND DECORATION

Each pharmacy 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.

CHANGE OF USE

Pharmacy leases will state the use which is permitted. Pharmacists wishing to change or expand the use will usually require landlord’s consent. Specific planning advice should be sought to determine whether the pharmacist may change the use without planning permission and whether or not landlord’s consent is required for any necessary planning application. Some leases will prohibit any change.

SIGNAGE

Shop front 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.

Pharmacists will usually be required to pay the landlord’s costs of any application for consent. 

This article was originally published in P3 Pharmacy, December 2015.