Renting a commercial space for your business is a huge commitment. So you must get it right. It is one of the largest investments you will make in your business and your growth.
How your business space looks makes a significant impact on how your customers perceive you and your company.
You need to take several things into account, like the price, the location, and how much space you have to play with.
The right office can make your employees more productive, increase the likelihood of making great hires, and closing good deals. The environment of your business makes a significant impact on your bottom line.
Start The Search
Carefully outline what you need in your office space. Once you have a clear understanding of your needs, you will be able to make a list of properties that match your requirements.
Use these details to book a viewing of any offices that meet your needs. It is essential to also figure in how much the travel will cost, and the length of time it will take to get from home to work – do this for all of your employees.
You might find that several types of space fit your needs:
- Traditional office space
- Creative office space
- Industrial warehouse office space
- Listed buildings like Adelphi Mill
Carefully consider your brand and what will work.
If this is your first time renting a commercial property, it is really easy to get carried away looking at the first property. It is essential that you take some time between bookings.
If you line up too many on the same day, you will lose track of which space had what amenities and facilities. Taking a few days where possible between viewings can be very helpful.
Before you sign any paperwork, you should always go for at least one more visit and carefully consider if the building has what you need.
During the viewing, take notes. How much space you get, what is included, what the neighbouring businesses do.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Have there been any break-in ins the area recently
- How much has the rent increased by in previous years, and what will be the future increase
- Who is responsible for the repairs
- Do you get parking space with the office?
- Are there communal areas
Remember the extra costs.
The price you see isn’t usually the price you pay. Several costs go along with renting a commercial property.
Account for the following costs:
- Deposit, this may be as much as six months rent.
- Legal fees ranging from £500 to £3000, this may be paid upfront and held to cover solicitor costs.
- Fee for notice of assignment, this is £50
- Payment of Land Registry and search fees, set aside up to £400 for this
- You may also be required to pay for repairs and redecorations of the space.
You will need to sign an agreement to make the rental formal and legal. The lease is a legally binding contract, and you need to be sure of what it contains.
A lease offers both you and the wonder of the property long-term confidence and stability.
However, you still have room to negotiate in most cases. Here are several things that you will agree on:
- How long the lease is for, and what the implications of breaking the lease are
- If there are and rent-free periods, and how much the rent is
- Any inspections, how they will be conducted and when
- Rental reviews
- Maintenance and service charges, how much it costs (total), what is included and who is responsible for specific items.
- How the bills will be paid, and on which date per month
After you have submitted an offer on the property, the landlord will wish to discuss these terms. As above you both have room to negotiate for the best deal.
Once the offer is accepted, you should ask the landlord to remove any advertisements for the property. This will stop someone from offering a better deal, and you lose the space.
This document is not legally binding yet; it is a “heads of terms”.
Now is the time to arrange a surveyor if you need to.
Exchanging the contracts
With money in place, you will now exchange the contracts. Once deposit and fees are handed over, and contracts are exchanged, the agreement is legally binding. However, only once the balance is paid is the contract complete.
Renting a commercial property brings long term stability, and the opportunity for growth to happen.