Business tenants should consider legal implications before offering to take in goods ordered online by local residents as a new service

Businesses need to be aware of potential problems

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Shops, garages and other retailers considering offering to receive goods ordered online by local residents as a new service now that many of those residents have returned to work, need to consider the legal implications before doing so.

Such businesses are increasingly offering new ‘click and collect’ services, with the added benefit that it means the buyer of the goods (or someone acting on their behalf) is bound to visit the business to collect them, which can increase custom.

However, businesses need to be sure they can lawfully do this before offering the service, or risk legal action against them. Common problems include:

  • If the retailer offering the service is a tenant, they need to check that their lease allows them to do so.
  • If landlord consent is required (for example, because it amounts to a new use of the premises; because the tenant needs to make changes to the property or to sub-let or share part of it with a third party before they can offer the service; or a change in opening hours is required and consent is required under the lease), the landlord may ask for a premium or a higher rent in return.
  • Even if the tenant can offer the service without consent, it may trigger a higher rent for the tenant if their rent is turnover-based.

Landlords negotiating new leases may want to prohibit their tenants from offering click and collect services for other traders’ goods, or charge a higher rent for allowing this.

Retailers considering offering to take in goods ordered online by local residents to generate additional revenue should check their leases before doing so, in case of restrictions or financial consequences.

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