Can I negotiate the lease / licence with my prospective landlord?

You will often be presented with a document described as the landlord’s ‘standard document’, the implication being that its terms and condition are non-negotiable.  This certainly does not mean that you should automatically accept what you read in the document. 

As with any contract, if there is something that you do not understand or are unhappy about raise it with the landlord, and if in doubt seek independent legal advice.

It is also worth noting that some landlords, particularly charities, will charge an administration fee for issuing your lease / tenancy agreement or licence.  Although this is standard, make sure you understand how much will be charged before signing.

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This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material. The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.