What to check before signing the lease

Check list before rentImage Credit: Supplied

You have just found the perfect location to open or expand your business. However, more than just selecting the perfect venue for your venture, there are some factors to remember before you sign on the dotted line of the commercial lease agreement.

One is to consider which expenses are covered by you and which are to be covered by the landlord. Some hidden expenses may include garbage pickup, utilities, maintenance and cleaning services. For instance, knowing if window washing is to be paid by the landlord or undertaken by you, and even maintenance queries such as air conditioning not working optimally or wiring issues.

Another critical aspect to look for in the lease is an escalation clause which means that if the landlord has an increase in building expenses, he is free to charge his tenants. In case your lease has this clause, request a document which accounts the different building repairs undertaken as well as a cap over the overall amount.

Another point to note is the frequency of rent increments. It is safe to be aware of the fact that if the property value increases, rents also usually increase. Still, it is always good to be aware of this factor. Tenants are advised to discuss possible rent increases and negotiate well in advance rather than suddenly discover that the rent is doubled on the day the lease is about to be signed.

Knowing the exact amount of space included in your particular rent and lease is as important as being aware of other details such as extra fees in case of rent delays on your end or the exact date that the rent is due. Smaller details like washroom and pantry amenities and knowing exactly who will be responsible for the maintenance of these will spare you from unexpected surprises of who supplies the necessary basics.

Handy Hints
• Initially ask which expenses are to be covered by the landlord
• Request for a document accounting different building repairs
• Discuss possible rent increases and negotiate well in advance

Source: Saadiya Ahmad, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer


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