Landlords eager to see their commercial premises occupied and prospering rather than languishing in an empty state should have a major re-think on how they market their property to would-be tenants, say experts.

Property experts agree that empty commercial buildings can seriously damage the reputation and value of a neighbourhood when its high street is full of empty windows and deserted of shoppers.

Buy to let expert, Lee Grandin says landlords must also play their part in raising the standards of their property’s location, he says: ‘As the recession bites, landlords need to be flexible in their thinking. For example, they should consider terms of a lease which a few years earlier they would never have entertained.

‘They should also consider short-term lets for 12 months or even less, as well as reduced rent and payment-free periods to attract entrepreneurs into the neighbourhood.

‘This change in attitude will also benefit the landlord too, as they will not be paying for repairs and insurance on an empty shop or other workplace.

‘At the end of the day, it a tenant’s business does well, the lease can be renewed after the short let has expired in any event. It's a new way of thinking but if we are to renew the high street, we need bold, new innovative thinking.

Grandin’s comments adds weight to those made by Mat Oakley, director of commercial research at Savills, who believes commercial property leases are getting shorter as a result of tenant demand.

‘Many firms may not be able to afford to commit for such a lengthy time now as they were before the recession, said Mr. Oakley recently.

A British Property Federation study also reveals that commercial property tenancy lengths have fallen to a record low.

In 2011, over three-quarters of new leases were for five years or less, with the average at around 4.8 years. This is considerably less than the 6.2 years recorded in 2007.

‘Landlords should allow business owners into their property for a few months to see how they get on, the hope is that a change of attitude will prove to be lucrative and beneficial for all involved,' adds Buy to let property expert Lee Grandin.

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