Legal pitfall could cause headaches for co-working firms and their landlords

WeWork, Moorgate

Trouble could be in store for flexible office specialists if they let licences become legal tenancies. Robyn Wilson reports on the dangers.

But as this sector evolves, a crucial legal pitfall has come to light – one that could prove problematic for flexible office providers and their landlords in the not-too-distant future.

Occupancy agreements could become a complicated legal web, creating a headache for landlords, operators and occupiers.

Under a typical business model, an operator, such as WeWork, will rent space from a landlord via a head lease. The operator will then fit out and sublet the space to an occupier — such as a start-up business or freelancer — through a service agreement, also known as a licence.

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