Long have heads of terms for a new lease landed on a lawyer's desk with a certain amount of curiosity or even trepidation as to the level of detail (or lack thereof) that might feature within them.

When acting for a tenant the dreaded words "a tenant break at the end of the last quarter in year five" will inevitably lead to negotiation through the legal documents as to what conditions, if any, should be applied to the operation of the break, whether the break should be on the last or (preferably never) the first day of a quarter and the degree to which the tenant's people/belongings/fixtures/subtenants should or should not remain.

All of this takes time and, as a result, increases costs for both parties which can be eliminated by the inclusion of a small amount of additional detail at heads of terms stage.

Hopefully this (compulsory for RICS members) guidance will act as an aide memoire to ensure that such detail is included more regularly.