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Entries Tagged as 'Office Space Negotiations'

Important Questions to Ask before You Lease Office Space

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Choosing to lease office space for lease is a big decision. The entire process can be quite confusing and it is easy to get a less-than-perfect office space deal if you don’t know what questions to ask and what certain terms mean to your bottom line.

What does $XX.XX/SF mean when stated in a lease or advertisement for office space? The cost stated usually refers to the yearly lease cost per square foot. An example would be 1,000SF of office space quoted at $10.00/SF would mean a rate of $10,000 per year or $833.33 per month. Although, in some markets it is based ont eh monthly cost. Make sure you know!

What does Rentable Square Feet mean to me? The term rentable square feet refers to the total square feet of office space used to calculate the rental rate. It may include an apportionment for the lobby, halls, and other common areas in the building that are available to you to use along with all the other building tenants.

What does Useable Square Feet mean? This is the total square footage inside the walls of the specific office space you are considering leasing; the acutula square footage you get to use. It refers to that area that is for the sole use of the tenant and does not include any sort of common area. Basically, this is the amount of office space, expressed in square feet, that you will be leasing as private office space in which you can conduct your business.

I was presented a lease that has the term “CAM charges” in it. What does this mean? The acronym CAM stands for Common Area Maintenance and CAM charges refer to the cost of services and charges to maintain common areas, including any parking areas owned by the building owner. This can include landscape services, common area lighting, parking lot maintenance, cleaning service for common areas, or even snowplowing if that is needed. The actual expenses are shared by all tenants and are quoted as CAM charges. This is calculated as $XX.XX/SF with the SF being equal to the rentable square footage of the leased area.  These charges are usually paid monthly based on the estimated yearly cost. At year end, the actual CAM charges are calculated and any refund or additional payment is settled with the tenants.

What is NNN when appearing in a lease rate? The term “NNN” refers to any additional actual expense items incurred by the building that are split between all tenants. This may include insurance, property taxes, or CAM if CAM is not included separately. It may be called “Additional Rent” rather than NNN. Be sure to ask exactly what is included in the NNN because it can differ from landlord to landlord. It probably will not include any utility costs except that used by the common areas.

How utility costs are calculated and are they included in the rent? In some smaller office spaces, the cost of utilities may not be calculated separately but in larger spaces, the tenant often has to establish their own separately metered utilities. In some cases, the landlord has all unities metered and the tenant is billed for a share of the total utilities based on the size of their office space.  Be sure to inquire about how utilities are billed and exactly what you are responsible for paying.

What does Gross Rent mean? The term Gross Rent means the landlord is paying all expenses outlined as NNN expenses and the tenant only pays the Gross Rental amount stated in the lease. The utilities may or may not be included in Gross Rent, so be sure to ask.

Can I get a short lease to try out the office space? Most landlords offering leases on commercial office space will not consider less than a one year lease. Some require two or three year leases as a minimum. In general, the longer the lease, the more valuable it is to the landlord and the easier it will be to negotiate what you want.  Don’t plan on less than a one year lease.

I love the office space I found but there are a few things in the layout that need to be changed. How does this work?  The layout of an office space varies from building to building and seldom do you find the perfect lay out. The landlord is likely to be reluctant to spend money on a tenant requested change. It is traditional that new paint, carpet cleaning, and general area maintenance be performed by the landlord. In some cases tenant improvements can be negotiated at the landlord’s expense, often on the longer term leases. In other cases the tenant may negotiate the right to alter the layout at the tenant’s expenses. 

Your best bet is to use ther services of an Office Space Tenant Represenative who will help you through the maze at NO Cost to you, making sure you avoid costly mistakes.

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By: James Osgood

Lease Negotiations , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

The Big Unknown: Office Space Operating Expenses

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One of the things that can complicate your budget for office space rent is operating expenses.  There are two ways your landlord can handle these costs.  The first is simple – if it’s $12.00, he charges you $12.00 or $1.00 per square foot per month and you are done.  This is known as a triple net lease (NNN).  The other method is over a Base Year.  This means that in Year One of your lease that $12.00 is included in your rent number, but you’ll pay the difference in subsequent years.  So if your operating expenses increase by $0.25 in Year Two, you’ll pay that difference either in a lump sum or in 12 installments – it depends on your lease.

What do these two methods have in common? Uncertainty... read more

Source: OfficeFinder Miami Member

 

 

Lease Negotiations , Miami Office Space , Office Leasing Tips , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations

Mid-Year Office Space Market Report for the US

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Costar's Mid-year National Office Space Report is out with some very interesting and comprehensive information included. The report is a very interesting read. It starts out with a broad overview:

"The U.S. Office market ended the second quarter 2012 with a vacancy rate of 12.1%.  The vacancy rate was down over the previous quarter, with net absorption totaling positive 20,718,242 square feet in the second quarter.  Vacant sublease space decreased in the quarter, ending the quarter at 48,602,935 square feet.  Rental rates ended the second quarter at $21.38, an increase over the previous quarter.  A total of 160 buildings delivered to the market in the quarter totaling 6,946,279 square feet, with 59,338,973 square feet still under construction at the end of the quarter."

But it also gets into much more detailed information by office market. I thought that one of the more interesting charts included was that of the historical office space rental rates. 
Historical office psace rates
Just a little bit of a roll since 4Q 2000 and has been pretty flat over the past 6 quarters. If I were a pure technician, I would say the chart is getting ready to bump up again. We will see.

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Lease Negotiations , Office Rental , Office Space , Office Space Negotiations , Office Vacancy Rate

Negotiating the Best Commercial Office Lease: Relocation Clauses

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You’ve found a great commercial office space rental to house your business operations and, with a great tenant representative (like we have at OfficeFinder) and any other needed advisors such as legal and accounting counsel; you are deep into the process of negotiating the best possible office lease for the office space location you want and need. At this point in the negotiation process take care to identify any relocation clause in the office lease and analyze how it could potentially impact your organization’s operation and earning potential.

What exactly is an office space relocation clause? This provision is contained in some, but not all, commercial office space leases, and gives the landlord the right to require the tenant to relocate their office space within the same premises in order to provide space for another tenant’s needs. Upon learning about this clause, you are very likely to say, “How very unfair to me and my firm!” and most tenants would agree. Keep in mind that most provisions in any lease tend to protect and be in favor of the property owner. For this reason, working with an experienced commercial office space tenant representative is important to protect your interests.

In an ideal situation, the landlord will simply agree to completely remove any office relocation clause in the office lease provisions. Some landlords, however, simply will not completely remove this verbiage, and then very clear, legally binding provisions must be negotiated to protect financial losses and periods of inability to effectively conduct business on the part of the tenant. It can be especially difficult when the property owner attempts to insist on keeping the verbiage “at the sole option of the property owner”, allowing the office tenant no right to refuse the request to relocate without terminating the lease at substantial penalty.

A scenario in which the landlord’s flexibility provided by the office tenant relocation clause could be invoked is a building consisting of three floors of 4,000 square feet of useable office space each. The first floor is currently empty and Tenant #1 leases 3,000 square feet of the second floor; the third floor is occupied by Tenant #2, a smaller office requiring only 700 square feet. A new tenant offers to lease 8,000 square feet of commercial space, but only if the office space can consist of the entire first and second floors. Clearly there is space on the third floor for both Tenant #1 and Tenant #2. Due to the much larger rental income from the potential new tenant who desires 8,000 feet of space on two floors, the landlord would find it most advantageous to require Tenant #1 to move to the third floor, sharing that floor with Tenant #2 who will not have to relocate. Of course, Tenant #1 may be very unhappy to uproot and relocate. If the lease were negotiated to avoid financial impacts to Tenant #1, the move might only be an inconvenience instead of a total disaster.

Points to be included in the negotiations for the relocation clause of a commercial office space lease you are considering for your enterprise should include:

  • A reasonable notice period should be defined in the relocation clause to be used as a minimum guideline.
  • The landlord should bear all costs caused by the relocation, including but not limited to finish work, painting, and moving costs.
  • Office space tenant improvements completed in the original space at the cost of the renter should be redone in a comparable and agreed upon manner in the new location at the cost of the property owner.
  • Costs associated with relocating utilities and other services such as network wiring should be borne by the landlord.
  • Expenses incurred due to changing the business address, such as letterhead, business cards and signage, including those visible on the exterior of the building, interior doors and directories, and outdoor signs, should be paid by the landlord invoking the relocation clause.
  • The relocation should not stop the company from doing business in that the space in which the company will move should be completely ready before the date of the relocation.
  • If the space is less desirable for any reason, the tenant should have the right to terminate thie office lease, attempt renegotiation of the rental charges or receive some type of incentive for relocating.
  • There should be no verbiage stating that the landlord has the right to terminate the lease should the tenant not agree to relocate. It could be in your best interest to negotiate verbiage stating that you have the right to terminate without penalty should you choose not to relocate into the space offered.

Clearly, this area of a commercial office lease can be quite tricky to negotiate. Your real estate professional will help you work with the landlord to obtain a relocation clause that both parties can agree to, should such clause be required by the landlord.  

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

US Office Space Markets are Showing Modest Improvement

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The CCIM Institue has come out with their market analysis of the commercial real estate sector and it calls for very modest growth in the office space sector (full discussion below). Slower employment growth, as would be expected is the main culprit.

"Office Space: Office markets are showing only modest improvement. Office employment has increased 2.2 percent during the past year, compared to average growth of close to 3.0 percent during the past cycle and well over 4.0 percent during second half of the 1990s. Moreover, firms continue to find ways to squeeze more workers into fewer square feet. Even with modest growth, net absorption has risen for five consecutive quarters, but growth is exceptionally modest by past standards. With little new construction, vacancy rates have edged lower, falling 0.4 percentage points over the past year to 17.2 percent, according to Reis.

While the overall market is seeing only modest gains, there are a few pockets of strength. Major technology centers, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Austin, and Raleigh, N.C., all continue to see strong demand. Rents have grown the most in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, which is also increasingly driven by the tech sector.

Despite the sluggish pace of recovery, office property sales have increased this year. Properties in key technology centers, areas with a great deal of exposure to healthcare, and a few major energy markets, such as Houston, continue to outperform most other major markets. New York appears to be successfully navigating the slowdown in the financial services industry and is seeing an influx of technology jobs. Washington, D.C., however, has seen demand for space and buyer interest wane as continued anxiety and uncertainty about the federal budget has sent chills through market. The suburbs of Washington, D.C., are faring better with the tech sector fueling gains in northern Virginia and healthcare driving gains in suburban Maryland and Baltimore."

Source

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Commercial Real Estate , Manhattan Office Space , New York Office Space , Office Space Negotiations , San Francisco Office Space , Seattle Office Space , Washington DC Office Space