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Five Questions to Ask When Leasing an Office

June 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 162

Since this is one the biggest steps in your business development and the one with severe impact if not done the right way, you need to be aware of at least these five questions to ask. Remember though, if unsure you should always seek legal advice before signing any leasing contract.

What is my share of the outgoings?

This is normally added to your rent and can be as high as an extra 26% of your rental amount. Make sure your lease contract details exactly what your outgoing payments include. Things like maintenance costs, toilet or amenities, waster removal, electricity and water. If you office is a shared office or have other tenants in the property find out how they worked out your share of the outgoings to make sure you only pay for your portion not someone elses.

Can you tell me all of the leasing restrictions on this office?

By law they must tell you what restrictions are in place if you ask, but they are not always obliged to if you dont ask. It depends on what they see as a restriction or feel is your responsibility to ask for.

Examples of restrictions can include;

  • Any identified asbestos material in the office structure
  • Are there heritage or historical components that cannot be changed
  • The nature of the business activity permitted in the office
  • Trading hours or noise levels due to nearby residential complaints
  • Parking. How and where can you or your customers park.
  • What advertising signage can be displayed

Are there any competition restrictions on my office based on contracts with nearby businesses that have non-compete clauses?

What fitout work am I allowed to perform?

Each office has a history and you will want to make the office in your style or brand. Before signing any lease find out what you can change regarding the following areas;

  • Interior walls to be shifted or removed
  • Powerpoints and computer connections
  • The colours of the painting, interior and exterior
  • Changes to exterior door and windows, especially for security purposes
  • Flooring material

Be aware that a make good clause is not the same thing as leaving the premises clean and maintained at the end of your lease. In fact, make good means the owner can force you to return the office fitout to its original state at your full cost. I suggest that you take photographs of the entire leased space before you move in as a record for when you move out.

Who are my neighbours?

Find out what type of neighbours you have and how long their contracts are left. You don't want to move in and then find one of them leaves next month, and a body piercer moves into a three year lease next door.

Try and get the clause for first refusal to reduce this from occurring.

Lease period

Most leases try to sign you up for 3-5 years to secure rent. Be mindful of how long your business will stay the same size as it is now. Try to predict your expected growth needs and see if the offices can cater for these changes.

It would be unwise to move into a small leased office because its cheap and find yourself outgrowing it within six months, while looking down a three year lease term.

Oh, by the way

In most leasing it is your responsibility to read the contract and have it reviewed by a lawyer before signing, don't complain later if you didn't read the contract in detail before signing.

The person wanting the lease will often be required to pay for the agents lawyers and your own. In Australia this is a standard cost to leasing an office.

Information supplied by Paul Baker Over twenty years of business development & change management strategies successfully used in National organisations across Australia. The focus is on continuous improvement of business systems to stimulate growth through our principles of Initiate, Inspire, Innovate.

Customer-centric focus using our extensive experience in consumer behaviour and business process operations to find ways to help business owners manage their organisations.

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Source: EzineArticles
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Leasing An Office


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Renting An Office


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