Procedure notes

Viewings 

If you find a property in our listings that you would like to view, it is advisable to visit and physically see it externally from the street first before arranging an internal viewing. To add your details to the Viewing Register, please complete our online registration form. We will email you back shortly afterwards with details of the next viewing. For more popular properties, we try to hold group viewings on a regular basis, so usually you should not have to wait more than 2 weeks until the next viewing. We try to give at least one week's notice of the viewing date.

We hold viewings and shortlist candidates until a suitable tenant is found. Once a tenant is identified, we reserve the right to cancel any further viewings and close the property for applications which means that people who express interest at a late stage in the process may be disappointed.

Application forms

If you have attended a viewing and wish to make an application, you can complete our Standard commercial tenancy application form.

You will need to fill out the form in full, and either upload or e-mail all the requested information to us at: lettings@southwark.gov.uk. The application form requests specific information about you and your business. If your application is shortlisted, you must provide all requested information. You will note that the onus is on the applicant to collect and append all references, and credit reports, including bank references. Failure to produce this supporting information will result in the application being rejected. Those applicants who do not currently run a business or hold business premises will need to submit a business plan.

Applicants are free to submit a rental bid in the region of the asking rent quoted.  It should be noted that we do not bind ourselves to accepting the highest bid for any of our properties. Rather, the selection of a suitable tenant is based upon our securing the best overall terms for the council including rent, use of the property, and status of the tenant.

Voluntary and Community Sector (VSC) applicants

Premises which may be suitable for VSC applicants will be indicated on the lettings particulars. Please note that council policy dictates we always charge a market rent for our properties. VCS groups may therefore need to seek funding to assist with the rental. You can find out further information on finding funding.

The successful applicant

The decision to offer a tenancy is made on the strength of shortlisted applicants, taking into account the proposed use, the sustainability of the business, the level of rental offered, and the quality of the references and supporting documents. It should be noted that it is the responsibility of each applicant to chase all references and supporting documents. Since we look to offer properties as soon as a viable tenant has been found, it is vital that you return completed application forms together with all supporting information to us as soon as possible. Once a decision has been made, the successful applicant will be notified in writing with an offer letter and other applicants and prospective viewers will be notified that the premises are no longer available. Please note, being shortlisted does not constitute an offer of a tenancy by the council.

Planning suitability

If an applicant wishes to use a property for a different use to the existing authorised use (for example, if the property is currently a retail shop falling under use class A1, and the applicant wants to use it as a restaurant, under use class A3), they should contact the Duty Planner in the Planning Department (020 7525 5438) for advice on whether the alternative use would be acceptable. Any advice received should be clearly included in Part 1 of the application. Generally speaking, we favour existing-use offers over alternative offers. This is because of the uncertainties and the time involved in changing the planning designation of a property via a planning application.

Please see the guide to use classes for information on all the planning Use Classes.

Lettings fees

Our offer of a tenancy will be dependant on the applicant agreeing to cover the council's surveyors and legal fees which are currently in the region of £1,250 but will be subject to review from time to time. Once paid, this fee is non-refundable.

Rateable value & business rates 

Prospective applicants should be aware that all rents quoted in our particulars are exclusive of business rates (and service charge where applicable). Where possible, we will quote the rateable value of a unit but enquiries should be made with the business rates department, or at: http://www.voa.gov.uk/, to verify this figure.

Misrepresentation Act 1967 and Consumer Protections Regulations 2008

The London Borough of Southwark gives notice that:

  1. None of the property particulars shown on this website constitutes any part of an offer or a contract.
  2. All statements contained in these particulars as to these properties are made without responsibility on the part of the London Borough of Southwark.
  3. All descriptions, dimensions, and other particulars are given in good faith and are believed to be correct, but any intending tenants should not rely on them as statements or representations of facts and must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to the correctness of each of them.
  4. No person in employment of the London Borough of Southwark has any authority to make or give representation or warranty whatever in relation to these properties.

Page last updated: 01 November 2017