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Entries Tagged as 'Office Leasing Tips'

Negotiating the Best Commercial Office Lease: The Standard Office Space Lease Agreement

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So you’ve found that perfect commercial office space for your organization, whether a small start-up or huge corporation. You’ve viewed the property and made a clear assessment that all your needs are available at the selected location.

Once you’ve told the commercial office property owner that you want to locate your business in their property, you are likely to be presented with a standard lease package. Do not sign any papers at this point but accept the lease for review. Explain to the landlord that you much go over the lease with care so that you completely understand it.

You specific needs are unique and may require significant lease changes during negations. Here are a few specific points that any tenant should look for in the standard lease package:

·         An accurate description of the commercial office space should be clearly listed in the lease.

·         How much is the rent and exactly when is it due? Are there any late charges if not paid on the correct date?

·         Is there a security deposit and how much is it? Under what conditions is this deposit repaid upon vacating the commercial office space and what conditions permit the landlord to refuse to return the security deposit?

·         What is the lease period and are there provisions to facilitate lease renewal if desired?

·         What are the terms in the lease regarding vacating the premises early? Do you have the right to move into another, larger office space owned by the landlord without penalty? Do you have any rights to rent additional space if your business grows more rapidly than anticipated?

·         Is there a cleaning deposit for preparing the space for the next tenant when you vacate the premises and is this fee returned if you leave the premises in the same condition as upon delivery?

·         Identify verbiage defining how much parking may be used by the tenant and what, if any, number of spaces can be marked as reserved.

·         Review all references to use of common space. You should have the right to enter and egress at any time of day or night and access to all common spaces unless specific restrictions are contained in the lease. Also, watch out for clauses regarding common space upkeep or charges.

·         The lease should clearly state what utilities are the responsibility of the tenant as well as what are paid by the landlord. The same goes for charges for maintenance and repairs for any problems not the result of misuse or neglect on the part of the tenant.

·         Is there are space in the lease or reference to an addendum where notes regarding the condition of the property at delivery may be noted.

·         Is there any defined allowance for tenant improvements?

·         What rights to signage are included in the lease?

·         Does the lease provide for delivery of a punch list after tenant improvements are accomplished?

There are dozens of additional points that will stand out in the lease to you. Some of them may be points you do not understand and you should highlight these for investigation. Other verbiage may not meet your needs. Highlight each portion of the lease that either is unclear, misleading or requires negotiation. These are items that you will need to cover with the help of your leasing team.

In the next article in this series we will determine who the members of your leasing team should be and how to select the best team to ensure the best commercial office lease for your business. 

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By: James Osgood

Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

Negotiating the Best Lease for Commercial Office Space: An Introduction

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Perhaps you operate a small start-up business that has outgrown your home office. Maybe your company is mid-sized and is growing out of the commercial office space you occupy. Or, you may head a large organization that needs an additional facility to support a new contract. Whatever your situation, you’ve realized that you need to lease a commercial office space.

You’ve begun the search for space. You may have used an online commercial office locator such as Office Finder or you may have search by driving by empty facilities. Whatever method you used, you’ve found the perfect location that suits your every need. It has location, location, location, plenty of parking for employees and customers, good security, and you have decided it is the spot for your organization whether large or small.

Now you are ready to negotiate the best lease possible. The lease negotiation process is much like visiting a foreign country where you do not speak the language. You might walk into a restaurant, thinking you ordered chicken and be served fish.

In order to obtain a lease for the commercial office space, you need an experienced guide who will have your best interest at heart and who has negotiated many successful leases in the past. A lease broker is a necessity. It’s a sure bet that the landlord or property management company offering the lease has plenty of experienced assistance to help them get the advantage. So, protect yourself by following some important processes that can help you negotiate successfully.

In this series of posts we will look deeper into the necessary processes and step:

The Basic Process: In this process we will look into reading the standard commercial office space lease initially offered by the landlord and spotting the points that require negotiation.

The Team you Need on Your Side: Here we will look at choosing a Lease Broker, Space Planner, and Legal Counsel if needed. We’ll determine why this team is needed and what each party will do to help you negotiate the lease.

When Disaster Hits: - What terminology does the lease contain regarding damage, whether caused by you or by an act of nature and who is responsible for what costs. You really want to ensure you protect yourself and your organization when the totally unexpected occurs.

Financial Analysis: How and why do you need to do a full financial analysis on what it will really cost you to lease the commercial property?  The results may surprise you and negotiation points will be revealed that are not apparent by simply reading verbiage in the lease.

Relocation Clause Protection: What happens is your outgrow the office space before the lease ends? What happens if you need to relocate due to property condemnation or any other reason?

Tenant Improvements Allowances and Permissions: This important leasing process determines what tenant improvements will be permitted and who will pay for what. This negotiation point can cost you thousands of dollars if not addressed property. Learn how to get the best lease options in this area.

The Devil is in the Details: The fine print can be difficult to understand but is just as important as any other process of commercial lease negotiation. What details should you and your lease broker discuss in detail and how should they be negotiated to protect your unique interests?

The Final Step, Lease Signing: After negotiating the best commercial office space lease for your organization, it is at long last time for you and your lease broker to sit down at the table with the landlord and his or her team and sign the legal documents after a final review.: 

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By: James Osgood

Lease Negotiations , Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space , Tenant Representation

Office Lease Checklist - Get it done Right!

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We are pleased to announce that OfficeFinder has just added a new up to date Office Lease Checklist. The checklist was prepared by one of our OfficeFinder tenant representative members who has reviewed hundreds of office leases. The office lease checklist covers the most important items to consider when evaluating a lease agreement. Also available from the office lease checklist page is a professional office lease review service that includes a complete lease review, analysis and recommendations for only $395. The review is intended to provide tenants with the information they need to successfully negotiate with their landlord.

Visit the Office Lease Checklist

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By: James Osgood

Lease Negotiations , Office Leasing Tips , Office Space Design , Office Space Negotiations , Tenant Representation

What Does it Mean to be an Office Tenant in an Improving Market?

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After some really bad times, the office market in US finally began a slow but steady recovery in 2011. Ryan Severino, senior economist for REIS said, “During 2011, the office vacancy rate declined by around 30 points when compared to 2010.” The result of this decline is that rental rates rose by about 1.6 percent, the first increase sine 2008. While this is not a huge increase, the recovery trend is expected to continue on a steady basis.

Office tenants in this market experience fear and doubts about where the economy is going. According to Ken Ashley, senior director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office tenants are focusing on using floor space more efficiently, resulting in a trend for office tenants to seek out offices with less square footage, a trend called “density with dignity”.

So what does this mean to office tenants seeking to lease an office?

  • Increasing Office Rents: As noted above, the rental rates are rising slowly but steadily, so negotiating a new lease or moving to a different office space may well mean paying more per square foot than just a few months ago. Since this trend is expected to continue, if you are considering moving your office, it is better to act quickly than wait; if you delay, you will only pay more.

  • Reduced Incentives: Recently, it was an office renter’s market and renters were able to shop for incentives that appealed to their situation. For example, some landlords offered tenant improvement allowances while others offered special rates to long term renters. These incentives are very soon to be greatly reduced as the vacancy rate continues to decline and spaces fill up. Once the rental market turns a corner, the incentives will vanish completely. Again, making it the best time for tenants to make any changes being considered for the near-term future.

  • Fewer Office Space Alternatives: With changes to the rental market, the choice afforded the potential renter will be reduced. Today, many renters are seeking to move to more flexible floor plans and smaller spaces. This may well leave a wealth of larger offices at increased cost per square footage available, but this may well be exactly what you want to change for your own office. Those seeking the perfect spaces for flexible office spaces and non-traditional spaces, such as serviced office space, may find themselves at a loss for locating the space that would have readily been available only a short time ago. A matter of weeks can change the market in this area and business people take advantage of their last days of incentives and broad selections.

As with any period of recovery, whether in the commercial office market or the general economy, it is difficult to see into the future. But trends today give us the best insight into where you may find your business rental needs in the near-term future. Today is the best time to make a move and only a few months from now may be entirely too late to reap the benefits remaining

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By: James Osgood

Office Leasing Tips , Office Rental , Office Space Negotiations , Office Vacancy Rate

OfficeFinder Twitter Update - Our Best Tweets

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The Best of our Tweets (so far) in September.  

 I Don’t Work for Free — the truth about leasing commissions http://ow.ly/6pmOt 19 hours ago 

9 Strategies for Selling Smarter http://ow.ly/6qo20 19 hours ago 

As price falls and performance rises, LED lighting becomes increasingly attractive to building owners http://ow.ly/6nRX5 12 Sep 

9 Strategies for Selling Smarter http://ow.ly/6ofIl 12 Sep 

Virtual offices 2.0 by Cloud Virtual Offices http://ow.ly/6p2Hw 10 Sep 

A Quick Guide to Google Docs http://ow.ly/6p2be 10 Sep 

lnkd.in/x83zWv Here is a good article on making cold calling easier. "Few elements of a sales career are more challenging than... 9 Sep 

Can Working Virtually Increase Happiness? http://ow.ly/6ofr2 9 Sep 

Financial Demand for Office Space Is Steady Amid Job Cuts http://ow.ly/6pn8t 9 Sep 

Servcorp Wins With IT, Virtual Office Focus http://ow.ly/6pbfH 9 Sep 

lnkd.in/W8chNe One of the reasons I started .com way back in 1995 is that I hated making the call (cold calling) and... 9 Sep 

10 real estate markets with largest 5-year drop in home values http://ow.ly/6q6PC 6 in CA, Phoenix and LV and 2 in FL..no surprises. 9 Sep 

How Do We Find Office Space For Our Clients? http://ow.ly/6q2Vl 9 Sep 

California is requiring that all new office buildings be net-zero energy structures by 2030 http://ow.ly/6pmYB 9 Sep 

REI Guidepost: Discover Outdoor Adventures Near You http://ow.ly/6ndxM 8 Sep 

Four Ways to Green Your Office Washroom http://ow.ly/6nRQy 8 Sep 

Regus stock rockets - a takeover target or a Short Squeeze from good reuslts? http://ow.ly/6pb4E 8 Sep 

tenant security needs, balancing technology and people, avoiding surprises, security costs and ROI http://ow.ly/6o2lp 8 Sep 

Top 5 Reasons Why Brokers Should Make the Call http://ow.ly/6oUnB 8 Sep 

Mobile workers still need physical meeting space http://ow.ly/6p2xs 8 Sep 

20 Things NOT to do on a Sales Call lnkd.in/aBysQD 7 Sep 

LEED, Liability, and You - a multitude of potential disputes http://ow.ly/6nRIt 7 Sep 

The Incredible Shrinking Office Space – Fact or Fantasy? http://ow.ly/6nSdA 7 Sep 

Top 10 Viral Video Advertisements of All Time http://ow.ly/6n9xJ 7 Sep 

Security pros call them office creepers – thieves who walk into buildings, steal unsecured valuables, and stroll out http://ow.ly/6o2es 7 Sep 

13 Ways to Make Your Office Space More Efficient http://ow.ly/6mFaV 6 Sep 

Should Your Business Rent or Buy? http://ow.ly/6mGJg 6 Sep 

Designing Your Work Space for Productivity http://ow.ly/6iLfs 5 Sep 

RT @coachmikeblaine: Good luck to @AROhoops (my son) and@windex_24 as they begin their professional careers in Denmark this week! 2 Sep 

Where You Do Your Work Doesn’t Matter Anymore http://ow.ly/6iL3a 2 Sep 

Office Space Tightens, Remains Uneven http://ow.ly/6k8HE National CBD vacancy is at 15%, while national suburban vacancy is at 20% 2 Sep 

Economists React: ‘Disturbing’ Way to Start Labor Day Weekend WSJ http://ow.ly/6k1bm stagnation in payroll employment 2 Sep 

Cashing in on rental property The bright spot in the real estate market http://ow.ly/6k0Ju

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