Becoming a commercial tenant: what you need to consider

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While some businesses might own the premises they operate from, for others, renting an office, workshop, factory or storage facility is far more cost-efficient.  Leasing a commercial property allows your business the flexibility it needs to grow, so should you want to expand or change the location of your business, you could simply wait until your lease is up and move on.  However, there is more to a commercial lease than finding the right property and paying the rent on time.  At Bradley-Mason LLP, we can offer commercial tenants lease acquisition services including building surveys, leave reviews, advice on licence for alterations and much more, to ensure a happy, hassle-free tenancy, but here are four things you should consider before signing anything!

 What is being leased

It is highly likely that your rent will be one of your largest financial outgoings, so it’s important to know what you’re getting for your money.  A lease review carried out by a building surveyor could check whether your lease includes only the office area you require or additional rooms, corridors and access to outdoor areas, as well as parking and other communal areas.  The building surveyor can also calculate the square footage of the property and check that what is stated in the lease is correct.  If you don’t know exactly what is included in your lease, you won’t know whether or not you’re getting a good deal.

The condition of the premises

Before agreeing to anything, the tenant should have a clear understanding of what they are taking on.  If the condition of the premises is not adequate but the landlord has stated in writing that certain changes will be made in order to comply with applicable laws, such as those relating to disability access and that the building systems are in good working order, then such changes must be made before the commencement date.  If the landlord fails to make the changes in time then you are effectively paying for something to which you did not agree.

Security deposit

When leasing a property, whether it is commercial or residential, you can expect to pay a security deposit in advance.  The conditions of a security deposit will differ between properties, with some landlords giving allowances for general wear and tear.  In order to get your full deposit back at the end of your tenancy, you will need to ensure the property is returned as per the landlord’s requests as stipulated in your lease agreement.  If you do not, you could be served with a Schedule of Dilapidations which lists the allegations, suggested remedial works plus the costs, which are often taken from the security deposit.

What the landlord will provide

When leasing a property, you really will have to investigate every inch of your agreement to ensure that everything you expect to be included actually is.  From electricity, gas and water, to being able to use the workspace after normal working hours, should you want to work or open late.  Again, your lease review carried out by a chartered surveyor can investigate this for you.  It is important to discover exactly what is included so that the running of your business is not interrupted.

When leasing a commercial property there is a lot of consider, but this needn’t mean it has to be particularly stressful or complex process.  With the right professional help and guidance, you can enjoy the flexibility and success a commercial property provides you with in no time at all and with little disruption to your business or your life.  If you would like further information on the range of building consultancy and project management services Bradley-Mason LLP can offer, contact the team today.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.


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