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Shop and Restaurant “Pop-up” Leases and Licences

Listed below is a selection of Leases and Licences for short-term “Pop-up” uses of Shop and Restaurant premises.

“Pop-up” shops or restaurants typically occupy small areas of retail space for a short period of time. Pop-up premises can give tenants the chance to try out a new retail business or enable them to attract custom during a particular season (e.g. Christmas) or at a limited-duration event (e.g. a sports tournament). Landlords are open to pop-ups because they can fill vacant space, increase rental income and add interest to their retail premises.

When drawing up legal documentation for Pop-ups, the emphasis is on speed and simplicity. Lease and Licence documents are kept short and just cover the basics: rent, rates, use, termination. The more onerous tenant covenants found in standard commercial leases are not included.

The Landlord will need to decide whether to offer space on a Lease or a Licence. A Lease is a more formal arrangement whereby the Tenant has exclusive use of the retail space (and effectively “owns” it) for a specified term. Licences give the Licensee the right to use space but no “ownership” of it.

The Lease/Licence distinction is not so important where the use is only short-term. Tenants with a Lease can acquire security of tenure (the right to remain in occupation and to renew the Lease) but this does not apply if the term of the Lease is 6 months or less (unless the Tenant also occupied the premises before the start of the Lease term.

To keep within this exception, the Pop-up Lease templates below should only be used for a term of 6 months or less and the Tenant should not be allowed to remain in the space once the Lease term has expired. If the Tenant is to continue using the space after the term has expired, one of our Short Lease templates should be used instead.

Landlords should take care to ensure that the Pop-up use is permitted under Planning law.

Details regarding changes to the permitted use of certain types of premises can be found on the Planning Portal wesbite. In addition, owners of property that does not have a designated “retail” use may be able to take advantage of the “28 day” rule which allows land to be used for temporary use for up to 28 days in any calendar year, subject to certain restrictions.

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