Not all business owners can afford to have their own brick and mortar stores that they will use to do business such as displaying their products and selling them or setting up an office where their employees work. Some want their business to be located in certain parts of the town or city where it is easily accessible for most people to go and check out their business; some examples are boutiques and restaurants which usually locate themselves in downtown or shopping centers or outlets, or offices locate themselves in business hubs. Renting properties in these places is easier than buying and constructing their own property. If you’re a business owner and plan to lease a property for your business, having a checklist to get all the details you need to know before deciding to pursue the lease can help you in the long run. Read the article to find out how to make a commercial lease checklist.
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What is Commercial Lease?
Commercial property, also called commercial real estate, investment property, or income property, is real estate that is intended to generate a profit, from either capital gain or rental income.
How to Create A Commercial Lease Checklist
Having a checklist can help you organize all the things you need to check when you are leasing a property. This will also prevent any tasks from being forgotten. Below are some points that you need to include in your checklist:
- Lease term: The most important thing to know when leasing a property is the duration. Think of the ideal lease term for your business.
- Lease exit: Know if the property landlord can give you an option to terminate your contract early.
- Property: Know first what property you’re going to lease. Is it a lease of a whole building, or just part of it? Know if the lease includes other important areas of the property such as parking spaces, access to toilets and kitchen areas, etc.
- Security of tenure: Make sure this is included especially if you are planning for a long-term lease.
- Alterations and signs: Find out if the landlord allows some alterations in the property such as structural alterations or putting up signage. You might need to obtain some approval from building regulations, so you also need to look it up and discuss it with your landlord.
- Insurance: Find out if the landlord insures the property and know how much is your share.
- Service charge: Is there any service charge the landlord will ask from you if they make some repairs to the building in the property you’re leasing? Make sure to discuss it with the landlord and get a budget for the annual cost and whether any substantial works are planned.
- Security: A rent deposit is usually done for landlords to charge their tenants. Discuss the rent deposit with the landlord and agree on a reasonable price and schedule.
- Option to renew: Ask your landlord what are your options once your lease expires. Know if you have an option to renew or extend your lease term.
- Rent calculation: Ask your landlord how will your rent be calculated.
- Incentives: Find out if you’re entitled to an incentive. If so, know how much and what type since there are various types of incentives that commercial tenants can negotiate, so it’s important to understand the option that will work best for your business.
- Owner of the building: Of course, it wouldn’t be wise to lease a property without knowing the owner. Meet the owners first and ask them for their plans, ask them the process of obtaining permissions for repairs and renovations, ask them for their tenant retention ratio.
- Property maintenance: Know who is responsible for maintaining the premises, including the property’s fixtures, fittings, and equipment. Negotiate with the landlord regarding maintenance matters.
What is the most important consideration in a commercial lease?
For tenants, one thing that they should consider in leasing a property is the monthly rent. It is one of the main issues that tenants have to face regularly so make sure you (as a tenant) negotiate with the landlord well regarding the lease.
What is a landlord responsible for in a commercial lease?
A landlord of a commercial property is responsible for the installation of fixtures and fittings of their property and its maintenance.
How long does it take to negotiate a commercial lease?
The length of the timeline of negotiating a commercial lease depends on both parties on how the negotiation proceedings occur. Negotiating a commercial lease can take from one day to a year but the average length of negotiation can take about three to nine months.
Make sure to write your checklist in a notebook or a Word document. The details shown above are some examples you can put in your checklist, but it is up to you to add more details to your checklist. Organize your checklist into two columns and provide a checkbox beside each point. Don’t lose the copy of your checklist and make sure to have an extra copy in case you misplaced one. To help you get started making your own lease checklist, download our free sample templates above!
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