Whether it’s the first time you’re renting office space or the tenth, there are so many questions you need to ask before you sign on the dotted line. A good working environment is essential to lead a productive team. If you have to have to take large chunks out of your day to attend to all the things you thought your lease was supposed to cover; you’re going to have a bad time. Luckily Move and More already know what you’re supposed to ask before you take the leap, so here are a few questions to ask before renting an office space.
Question One: What’s in the Lease?
Before you fall in love with a potential new office space, the terms and conditions are what will turn your new work home into a legal nightmare or a well-oiled work delight. To avoid any confusion, get a lawyer to look over the contract and be sure to ask these questions:
How Long is the Lease?
You might want to invest in a long term office solution especially if you’re hiring interior designers and project managers to overhaul the space to fit your exact needs. If you’re looking for a more cautious approach you definitely want to make sure you’re not locked into a long term lease which you can’t get out of without paying heavy penalties, which brings up another question; what happens if you need to leave the office space early?
What are the Penalties for an Early Exit?
In the event that your business takes a turn for the worst or rather it experiences unprecedented growth; you want to have options. If you have to vacate the premises early you could be left with a nightmare filled with exorbitant financial penalties. There are however some great clauses which could serve as a buffer in such circumstances – perhaps the lease could offer you the option to sublet either part of the space or the full space to another suitable business? Alternatively, the financial penalty could be diminished as time passes with each successive year on the premises.
Is There an Option to Renew the Lease?
Especially in the case of a short term lease, if you’re happy in your office space, relocating is the last thing you would want to do unnecessarily. Some letting agents will make you jump through hoops to renew your lease and in some cases not allow you to renew it at all. Make sure you are afforded the first option for the office space at the end of the contract to avoid any stressful back and forth with your agent.
What Happens if the Landlord Goes Bankrupt?
This is without doubt one hideous scenario which would be entirely out of your control, this doesn’t however make you first in line for potentially debilitating fallout. You can steps to mitigate your risks in such unforeseen circumstance however, with a clause in your lease you could be able to remain in your office space in the event of foreclosure. Ideally, this would be an unnecessary detail but better safe than sorry.
Question Two: Let’s Talk About the Premises
More than local amenities and public transport routes, your new office space should have at least a handful of other facilities, services and titbits of information will make your stay more comfortable and productive. They’re pretty simple, but some are just not negotiable for any business.
Is This Location Safe?
It is common practice for business centres and office parks to have around the clock security, but this can’t be taken for granted. And this point doesn’t only extend into the security of your on-site assets and equipment, it also holds true for your staff. If staff need to work on weekends or into the evenings, they need to feel safe and have access to security assistance if the need arises.
Who Occupied the Office Space Previously
It’s not the norm for property leases to end on bad terms, but if the last person to occupy your new office space has some issues – you want to know. Whether the previous tenant lapsed on their payments or the landlord didn’t fulfil their end of the deal, you need to know exactly what happened and why. This is one very important measure which could reveal a deal-breaker or two.
Can You Erect Signage?
Based on the entrance of the business park or premises the answer may be obvious but nevertheless, it is a must for any business. Amongst all of the other details, this one can be missed. In addition, the landlord may have a preferred signage manufacturer so you need to check that out before you go ahead and print your sign to the wrong specs.
Who Takes Care of the Maintenance?
This topic should also be covered thoroughly in the lease, but its good to double and even triple check even the minor details. To avoid confusion and unmet expectations you need to know what your landlord covers (if any maintenance at all) and what they don’t cover. You can’t expect your landlord to change every light bulb however larger electrical and plumbing problems need to be attended to.
Who Are Your Neighbours?
The other tenants in the business park may complement your business, or they may disrupt your business. Large crowds of exuberant children lining up for television commercial auditions could get in the way of important client meetings, as could having a direct competitor next door. As fickle as it may sound, if you know what your business needs to be productive, the easier it will be to avoid difficult neighbours.
Is There a Generator?
Endearingly referred to as Genny, the one who saves the day, will really make your office a more cheerful place. Unfortunately these days such a team member is essential and if there isn’t one on the premises, you should find out if there is space available in a convenient spot for one of your own.
Question Three: What Will it all Cost?
It’s might not be impossible to find everything in an office space that you, one thing is for sure though, it will come at a cost. Fully serviced office spaces with unlimited coffee, fulltime cleaning staff and Wi-Fi takes a lot of responsibility off your shoulders, but it’s not cheap. This is exactly why larger businesses have to weigh up the costs and the benefits. What’s troubling however is when you think you’re getting a good deal but you don’t realise that all the extras, and in some cases the essentials, are not included. It’s like accidentally buying a car which doesn’t come with a steering wheel.
What Will Cost Extra?
- Is there cleaning staff?
- Is there an on-site caretaker?
- Are water and electricity included in your rent?
- Are rates and taxes included in your rent?
- What is the yearly rental increase?
Not with all your ts crossed and your lowercase js dotted, you can plan your move, pack up your office and cheers to a prosperous future. Don’t forget to contact us for any further advice or to get a relocation quote.