Renting out new office space? Before you sign any contracts, it could be important to make a few checks. Below are some of the essential checks that eager business owners sometimes forget.
How much freedom do you have to renovate?
In some offices, you may have a lot of freedom to decorate and refurbish. In other cases, you may not be able to hammer a nail in a wall without asking for permission. If you want to personalise your office or add certain permanent modifications, it could be essential to what your rights are when it comes to renovating. If this is not clearly stated in the contract, make sure to ask the property owner.
What costs will you be responsible for?
It’s important that you don’t end up being responsible for more costs than you bargained for. For example, some leases may not require you to pay for repairs or insurance, while others will. In some cases, you may only have to pay for a portion of expenses. Certain terms may be used to describe these leases – it’s worth looking into what is triple net lease rent or what is a full service gross lease so that you don’t get caught out. Take the time to read the contract carefully and ask questions if you have any doubts as to what you should be paying.
What are the exit conditions of the lease?
On top of being happy with the term of your lease, you should look into what the conditions may be if you do decide to exit your lease early. Some leases may require you to pay a large fee or even continue paying the lease until the term has ended. Such exit conditions should be stated in the contract – if not, you should ask about them.
Can you sub-let space out?
Some office leases allow tenants to sub-let space out to other businesses (usually so long as certain terms and conditions are met). If you think there’s a chance you may one day want to sub-let space – even if it’s for an event – it could be important to check that your contract allows this.
Are there enough electrical outlets?
Modern businesses are using greater amounts of machinery including computers, printers and routers. It could be important to make sure that there are enough electrical outlets for all your machinery. This is something that can sometimes get overlooked when looking around an office building. Modern offices are more likely to have a greater amount of outlets than older office buildings, which could be something to bear in mind if you need a lot of sockets.
Is there enough parking availability – and is it free?
Employees, customers and contractors may need somewhere to park when accessing your office. An office with private free parking could be very convenient. Of course, you may not always be able to find offices buildings like this, in which case you need to make sure there is enough local public parking and that it’s not too expensive. This can reduce stress for people accessing your office.
Is there a lot of crime in the area?
Offices can be a popular target for burglars and vandals. It could be worth checking online to see how high the local crime rate is. Ideally, you want an office somewhere that hasn’t got too high a crime rate – this will make it a more pleasant environment for you and your staff, plus insurance rates and security costs won’t be so high.