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FIVE ‘MUST KNOWS’ FOR COMMERCIAL LEASING
If you’re a new business owner looking for that dream property or you’re simply thinking of relocating an existing business, the leasing agreement is something you’ll have to get your head around. To help you in your decision making, here are 5 ‘must knows’ when considering a commercial property lease.
1. KNOW YOUR BUSINESS AND LEASING OBJECTIVES
Ideally, your lease shouldn’t dictate your business objectives. Instead, your business objectives should dictate the lease you choose. A lease which limits growth opportunities might not be the best option, even if there’s an urgency to get a business up and running. It’s a trap many business owners have fallen into – where the wish to create a stable income stream and pay all expenses has been stifled by a premises poorly suited to their operations. Every business owner is hoping to strike the right balance between their business and leasing objectives.
2. KNOW THE TERMS OF THE LEASE
As a potential tenant, you should view a commercial lease agreement as an opportunity for negotiation. The terms and conditions are absolutely essential to your business’ viability, so taking the time to consider every aspect will minimise risks. In general, the conditions of the lease should provide you with the following:
3. KNOW HOW YOUR RENT IS CALCULATED
Commercial property is generally calculated on a ‘per square metre rate’, which is not simply about the size of the premises. The rate takes into consideration factors such as location, condition, surrounding tenants, local services and the terms negotiated in your lease agreement. Contact a few commercial property agents (not the landlord’s property manager) to find out if your rent is fair, and the availability of other properties to use as leverage in your lease negotiations.
4. KNOW THE REGULATIONS ON COMMERCIAL PROPERTY
Every property and its surrounding area have regulations which impact on a business. This could include local council laws on traffic density and parking, the management of waste and water discharge, and noise restrictions. It’s also important to find out if there are any planned council works or local developments which could negatively affect your business.
5. KNOW WHO TO GET ADVICE FROM
There are some complex areas of leasing law, so if you feel unsure about any aspects of the lease agreement, it could be a good idea to seek the advice of a solicitor. They can help you better understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and those of the landlord. How you interpret different parts of a lease agreement could be quite different from their true legal meaning.