For any business that is seeking a new base, the first question will be whether to buy or rent your new property. There are many advantages to purchasing commercial property, as you will have no lease period and complete control over what you do with the building, but it requires a lot more starting capital.
From SMEs and start-ups, finding commercial property for rent is a much more likely scenario. This still offers many benefits, such as needing a lower amount of capital and avoiding the risk of falling prices and interest rates. There are various things you need to check before your business takes out a lease for commercial property.
Business and Landlord Responsibilities
Various building responsibilities will legally be assigned to the landlord and your business that is renting the premises. Make sure you are aware of who is responsible for paying for insurance, covering both buildings insurance and the business’ assets.
Legally it is you as the employer who is responsible for ensuring the property is up to scratch in terms of health and safety. This includes having smoke alarms and fire extinguishers installed, as well as disabled access, ventilation and providing clean drinking water for staff. Still, the landlord should be in charge of building maintenance and certain other aspects.
In the same way as house buyers will put in a lower bid and then go through a few stages of negotiations, this can be worth it when renting commercial property too. For small and new companies the amount saved can be used to further grow your business.
See if there are any reasons your rent should be lowered or the landlord will be willing to negotiate. Such points could be if the space, toilets, kitchen or other facilities are shared with another company, or you are taking out a long lease. Look at the lease history, if the landlord has found it harder to rent out then they will probably be more lenient.
If you’re a retailer then you will need to be sure that you can use the commercial property for a selling purpose. Some landlords can be quite specific in what you can and cannot use their properties for. At London & Cambridge Properties there are a range of buildings for certain business types.
Check the planning legislation/permission as well as the lease terms to see whether you can carry out your intended usage in the property. If not, you will have to seek out somewhere else.