Avoid pitfalls when leasing office space

Mike Park
Mike Park

When it comes to leasing office space, tenants often make costly mistakes. Your office space is one of the greatest assets to your company, so it’s important to be smart when leasing by avoiding these five common mistakes:

Lack of a solid plan. Many tenants begin looking for office space without knowing exactly how much space they need. It’s important to know how many square feet you’ll need for your office now as well as take into consideration how much growth you’re planning for the future.

No tenant representation. Hiring a broker will benefit you in the long run because an experienced commercial broker knows the ins and outs of the real estate market and can negotiate for you. A broker also will help you find the space that best fits the needs of your specific business. Commercial brokers have knowledge about the leasing process you don’t and can help you avoid the time-wasting hassle of leasing a space you’ll end up leaving a year or even months later.
A broker who knows the commercial real estate business will help you save time and money.

Not understanding documents. Look over documents and read them carefully before signing. Many tenants sign documents without fully understanding what they’re signing, leading to problems down the road. Your documents should be vetted by a professional to ensure your office space is legally zoned for commercial purposes and complies with building safety codes. It’s also important to make sure heating, air conditioning and other important systems are inspected before moving into your office. The lease should outline the status of these systems and whose responsibility it is to maintain them.

Not checking lease terms. One of the most important aspects of leasing a space is understanding the lease terms. If your lease contains a 30-day prior notice period, are you able to pack and move within a month? It could be possible your landlord has the right to move your office within the building to another floor or space in the building with little notice. Understand your lease terms. A real estate professional with experience in your particular market can help you navigate lease terms that will help, not hinder you.

Underestimating the power of negotiation. You have power when it comes to negotiating your rent. Take a look at the comparable rents around the area. Know what comparable office space leases for and make sure you’re receiving a fair rent. Landlords desire to fill the spaces in their building and many will negotiate with you to fill those spaces. Don’t be afraid to challenge the rent price if you feel it’s not in line with other rent prices in the area. You could end up saving your company thousands of dollars in the long run because of your negotiating skills.