When you are faced with the possibility of getting a commercial property lease, you must understand that this is not like a renting a house. There is no such thing as a standard commercial lease contract. Every property is different, and each business is different. Here are some important questions to ask before you sign any contracts.
If you are already needing more room for your business, then you know you need to find somewhere to relocate. But, do you know how long you will be at the new location? Do you know if it is going to be enough room for you to expand, without having to move, and therefore face trying to get out of the commercial lease you already have in force?
If you plan to have a broker involved, find out how many years of experience they have in this type of property, and any certifications they have received, especially from real estate associations. This is not the time to be playing ball with a rookie, you want someone who has a proven track record of going that extra mile for the client.
You will need to ask the landlord several questions about the property, as well as the other tenants. The tenant-mix can be crucial to the continued success of your business if the rest of the businesses around you have absolutely nothing in common with your trade.
Find out if there will be on site management of the property. A smaller property might not have anyone on hand for maintenance problems, so the landlord must be able to guarantee you that there is someone on call who will show up immediately to handle structural malfunctions.
Ask the landlord what kind of incentives he gives for getting new tenants. Some landlord frequently remodel the facility, both inside and out. They can also offer such things as additional covered parking or moving allowances to help reduce your overhead in relocating.
The amount of the rent is at the top of the questions, but there are other possible expenses that can be hidden which could result in you having to pay more each month, than the specified amount. Ask about such things as, rent-escalation clauses, that let the landlord increase the rent in the future. Also, what other charges you are expected to pay, like, maintenance, taxes and any other charges that fall under “triple net” or “net-net-net” leases.
Do you have the option of subleasing the property? This possibility could offer you a means of being able to move to another location, in the event your business grows fast enough that you need more room. If you don’t have the option of subletting, you will be stuck with the existing commercial property lease. Be sure of what you are signing, before you make your decisions about relocating your business.