Once you have selected the location and building for your office move, you need to take care of the legal requirements.
The following steps will help make sure you’re covered:
Engage your legal team
First up, your lawyer can help you finalise the contract of the space you are about to vacate. Make sure you are not being asked to do more than you legally have to do. Its not up to you to redecorate for the incoming tenant, just to get the space back to the condition in which you accepted it.
You should also call on your lawyer to prepare lease documents and thoroughly review any contracts you have been presented with by the new building owner for the new space.
The obligations and rights of both owner and tenant should be clearly included in the lease agreement, with both parties being able to contribute to the terms. If a building owner isn’t interested in revisions or negotiation, you may want to reconsider leasing their space.
Just as you would for a residential lease, you should have an independent inspection of a commercial property before you move in.
Make sure you use a professional fit out consultant and that their inspection is as specific as possible. Request that they take photos and attach them to the report to keep for future reference.
Areas to check include:
● The condition of the ceiling
● Storage areas and work spaces
● Condition of carpets, floors and doors
● Windows and vents
● Blinds and other window coverings
● Air conditioning
● Taps, basins and bathrooms
● Electrical systems
● Walls and paint
Sometimes a building is not in a compliant state before you move in. With the help of a professional fit out consultant you can avoid being stuck with the cost of bringing the space up to code after you have moved in.
Check your ‘make good’ clause
Often, a condition of a commercial lease is that you will return a property to the state you found it in when you leave, something known as the ‘make good’ clause. Read this very carefully as people are often taken by surprise at the end.
As an alternative you may also wish to negotiate make a monthly payment on top of your lease to cover this cost. This will allow you to walk away at the end of your tenancy without having to remove every fitting and fixture before you leave, and without that “balloon” payment at the end. This may also be a time to negotiate the make good out of the contract altogether, it really depends on the supply and demand market at the time.
Talk to your lawyer about the best approach for this clause as they may have recommendations.
Have a final read through
Once the contract is signed, you won’t be able to make changes, so it is important you are clear on everything up front.
Take the time to review your building lease contract in detail and make sure other stakeholders within your business do the same.
Cover all bases by giving a signed hard copy to your legal team for safe keeping.
Confused about negotiating the terms of your lease? Apex Executive Interiors can provide guidance to make sure the contract has no hidden surprises.