Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Flexible landlords are in a position to help commercial properties in Shropshire

Flexible landlords are in a position to help commercial properties in Shropshire villages ride out the economic downturn and prosper in the future.

That is the message from Shropshire property expert Harry Torrance, who said that landlords are able to influence the future of rural villages in the area in a hugely positive way.

Mr Torrance, a general practice surveyor with national property firm Carter Jonas, said that while village shops and businesses have suffered since 2008, there is cause for optimism in these communities.

“Flexible lease terms, kept under constant review, can really help add value to both the property and the business, benefitting landlord and tenant alike” said Mr Torrance, who is based in the Shropshire office of Carter Jonas at Hadnall, near Shrewsbury.

“What can happen when user clauses for example are too restrictive is that it prohibits the natural evolution of retailing businesses. 

“Rent review provisions, and other lease terms such as repairing, insuring and decoration can also be varied with agreement to best support the occupier’s activities and so help sustain footfall and capital values.

“Shops with flats above let on business tenancies can deliver a great solution to tenants and landlords alike to maintain village activity.” 

Mr Torrance, who acts for both landlords and tenants, said that villages in Shropshire are in many ways at an advantage over the larger towns.

“While the High Street in larger towns has lost out to the internet and supermarkets, the village High Street is seeing a trend of increased numbers of niche or boutique retailers - often single traders - and chain convenience stores often operating as individuals under franchise arrangements” said Mr Torrance.

“In larger towns, traditional retailers such as butchers, bakers and other independents have suffered and have been replaced by a boom of loan shops, bookmakers and charity shops – the picture in villages and small towns is much more positive. The key is to maintain and increase footfall. Lease terms can have a huge impact” Said Mr Torrance.

“Landlords hold the key to the future of commercial premises and villages aren’t so much at the whim of national forces, such as internet and supermarkets, as towns and small cities.”

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