Frequently Asked Questions

From each regional office Northern Trust can accommodate a wide variety of occupational requirements on flexible terms, offering a fast and efficient service from professional management teams.

Northern Trust is dedicated to assisting new and existing businesses expand and relocate where possible in our portfolio and we understand that moving to new business premises can be a daunting prospect. We aim to make the process as easy and simple as possible, and have set out some frequently asked questions to assist you in the decision making process.

Arranging a viewing

Following the initial enquiry and receipt of the relevant property particulars and availability information, the first step is to arrange a viewing of the property or properties that may fulfil your requirements. One of our dedicated team members will arrange an appointment to meet with you at the property; show you around the estate and discuss your individual requirements.

At the viewing stage we will aim to answer any questions you may have and provide you with all the information you need. 

What happens once I have viewed the premises?

At the viewing you will be provided with an application form. If you would like to go ahead with renting the premises, this paperwork should be completed and returned to us as soon as possible. We will only be able to proceed further upon receipt of the application form. 

How do I agree terms with you?

Having viewed the premises and submitted your application, we will aim to agree specific lease terms with you. Whittle Jones offer a range of flexible leasing options depending on the size of unit ensuring that the terms of the lease can be tailored to suit your individual needs. The terms of the lease agreement will be set out in writing and include:A description of the property being leased

  • The permitted use
  • Length of lease
  • The initial rent to be paid, including any rent steps at the agreed rate
  • Any deposits or other forms of security that will be taken
  • Service charge or maintenance rent provisions
  • Insurance requirements
  • Repairing responsibilities
  • Arrangements to cover any alterations you may wish to make to the property
  • Any special terms agreed 

How long do I have to sign up for?

Whittle Jones offer a range of flexible leasing options which can be tailored to suit your requirements. 

How much deposit will I have to provide?

The level of deposit or security in the form of a personal guarantee will be agreed following a review of the personal or financial information provided with your application. Any deposit will be collected upon completion of the lease and returned in full at the end of the term provided that the terms and conditions contained in the lease have been complied with. 

How do I pay rent and other charges?

Your rent will be payable in advance, usually monthly or quarterly by direct debit, and a VAT invoice will be issued for tax purposes. A direct debit mandate will be provided at the time of letting. 

Are there any other costs?

Dependent upon the estate, either a service charge or maintenance rent will be levied which will be payable either quarterly or monthly with your normal rental payments. At the time of letting a one off charge is also payable for administration/documentation costs. 

What is service charge? 

Larger premises are usually let on one of our standard leases and a service charge is payable under the terms of the lease towards the landlord’s costs of maintaining and managing common areas of the estate. This would be a fair proportion towards the costs of providing services such as landscaping, estate cleaning and lighting, road/footpath repairs, and any security provision. The proportion the tenant is responsible for is usually calculated based on the floor area to be occupied as a percentage of the total floor area on the estate. A service charge budget is set each year in advance of any predetermined costs. At the year end the actual expenditure for these service charge items is calculated and if there is a shortfall from the budget you will be required to pay an apportionment of the additional costs; if there is a surplus on the account, you will receive a credit. 

What is maintenance rent? 

Smaller premises are normally occupied on one of our flexible tenancy agreements, which include a provision to collect a maintenance rent to pay towards the running costs of the estate and the insurance of the buildings. This is a fixed monthly charge which is not reconciled annually as a service charge is. 

Do I need to insure my premises?

No. The Landlord insures the property against all normal building risks, including fire, storm, and malicious damage. The insurance premium is included within the maintenance rent where properties are occupied on one of the Landlords standard tenancy agreements. Occupiers who have a formal lease (usually on larger industrial or office premises) are invoiced annually for the insurance premium, and provided with a certificate of insurance. You will need to insure your own contents and for any business interruption. 

How do I arrange my utilities, e.g. gas, water, and electricity?

In most circumstance the utilities are payable direct to the relevant utility companies, and you have the right to choose your own supplier(s). As soon as you take occupation of your unit, readings should be taken and provided to the relevant supplier.

In a small number of cases there may only be one main supply to the site, with sub-meters in each unit. In these circumstances, regular readings will be taken and you will be invoiced separately by the Landlord for the proportion of utilities applicable to your unit. 

Do I need to pay the business rates, and how much will they be?

Yes. Business rates, otherwise known as Non-Domestic Rates, are payable to the Local Authority for any occupation of commercial property. As soon as you take occupation of commercial premises the Local Authority should be informed. The rateable value or RV is not the amount you pay. A multiplier known as the uniform business rate is applied to the rateable value, with payments being made in equal instalments to the Local Authority. You may be eligible for Small Business Rates Relief and the Local Authority will be able to advise whether you can benefit from this. Whittle Jones are able to provide you with the rateable value for any properties you may be interested in, together with the approximate annual charges actually payable. 

When can I collect the keys and move in?

Once the terms have been agreed, one of our management team will arrange to meet you on site to complete a handover. The majority of units are let on our standard form of tenancy agreement, a four page pre-printed document, which has been created to provide a concise and easy to understand document on which to rent premises, and to save on legal costs. You will be required to sign two copies of the agreement, and provide a cheque usually for the deposit, first month’s rent, and a small administration fee. In return you will be provided with all necessary keys, and a Welcome Pack detailing contacts within the Whittle Jones team.

Following the handover the tenancy agreements will be sent to the Landlord for signing and a copy for your records will be posted out to you shortly afterwards.