Posted on: 2 December 2016Share
Whether you're just starting out or are expanding your business, you'll need office space at some point. In the stress and excitement of looking for a place to hang your shingle, sometimes important questions that can have a major impact on your business go unasked. Here are two things you need to discuss with your commercial landlord before you sign a lease.
What Are the Building's Hours of Access?
One thing business owners commonly overlook is the building's access hours. You definitely want a place that lets you and your customers enter the space when your office is open. However, you should also consider whether you can get into the building during off hours. For instance, if your office is only open Monday through Friday, you should see whether you are allowed to be in the building on Saturday and Sunday.
This can affect your company's flexibility. For instance, if business is slow, and you want to hold a special Saturday flash sale to generate buzz and quick income, you may be prohibited from doing so if the landlord doesn't open the building on weekends.
In addition to discussing when you can use the rental space, talk about how you get into the building outside of normal operating hours and any special procedures that may be involved. For example, if you stay later than normal, the landlord may require you to engage the building alarm.
Will the Rent Increase or Decrease?
It's not unusual for landlords to offer discounts on rent to get clients in the door, and it's a good idea to take full advantage of these types of offers to get the best deal on commercial office space. However, you need to be clear on when your rent rate will change so you can make adequate preparations.
Even if you weren't offered a special lease deal, you still want to discuss rent increases with the landlord. As property values and the cost of maintaining a commercial building increase, the rent may also go up. Try to find out how often this is likely to occur and the approximate amount of increase you can expect. If the landlord is not forthcoming with the information, find tenants who have been renting space in the building for a few years. They may be more willing to share whether they've experienced any rent fluctuations and how often they seem to occur.
To learn more about renting commercial office space or for help finding a space that fits your needs, contact a commercial real-estate agent or visit sites such as www.hi-reit.com.