If you’re a company owner and looking to rent an office space, you might feel overwhelmed by the prospect at first. Will there be hidden terms that you don’t know upfront? Might you be trapped into conditions that you’re not prepared for?
Relax. The rules of taking out an office lease are standardized, and once you know what to look for and what type of lease you want to take out, you shouldn’t have any additional surprises. Let’s take a closer look at the terms and major types of leases that you might be looking at.
General terms of office leases
There are a wide range of terms that landlords run rentals for offices by. In considering your rental options, you should first of all think about the amount of time that you want to rent. If yours is a new business and you’re not sure what the future will hold, you might want to think about a lease with a flexible end date. You can even get month-to-month leases sometimes, although the cost is usually higher.
There is also the question of whether or not you want automatic renewal of your lease. If so, you will probably be bound to the terms of your original agreement upon renewal. If you want to have the option of renegotiating your terms, you might not choose this option.
Let’s now take a look at several major lease components that companies looking to rent office space generally involve. These go by names, such as “gross,” “net,” “bondable,” etc and can exist in different combinations of factors. Depending on your priorities, you will probably find one type favorable to the others.
Some of the major things to consider when thinking about your preferred lease type include the following:
Depending on the type of lease you take, you may be responsible for none, some, or all of the maintenance involved. This is one of the factors that you should think about carefully; your first instinct might be to say, “I am a businessman. I don’t want to bother with this.” But you’d be surprised at the extent to which base fees can rise if you don’t want to be responsible for maintenance. The decision isn’t black and white; your budget, the age and condition of the building you will be moving into, and the amount of time you potentially have available are all factors in this decision.
This is another thing that you should think about carefully before deciding what kind of lease to pick. Utility costs vary from region to region and depending on the vagaries of the economy, of course. If it looks like costs might be going up, you might want to pick a lease type that includes a flat fee for utilities, and you can let the landlord worry about whatever price changes there may be.
You should also think about whether you might use things like energy-efficient lighting or other types of renewables, which could reduce your utility costs. Perhaps you can look into sensory-activated lighting and electronics that will automatically shut down when people aren’t in the room. These can all affect the amount that you might pay.
Taxes are another thing that you can’t make a flat statement about. Property and other kinds of taxes can vary depending on your location, the type of business you have, and the type of place you’re renting from. Be sure to do your research in advance and find out everything you can about possible taxation. Some leases will include taxes in a flat rent cost, and others won’t.
In fact, if you’re looking at an office space that will subject you to particularly high taxes, you might even think about relocating to a new region entirely; many businesses are doing this to their advantage!
Leases that vary according to your success
There is a category of leases, often referred to as “percentage” leases, that will require different amounts of money from you depending on how well you do as a business. This type of lease can be advantageous in that you will likely start with a very low rate. However, as you gain profit, your rent will go up accordingly. It is up to you and your company to decide whether this type of arrangement might work for you.
Different combinations of options
There are a wide range of lease types available, and you should do research on what might work best for you depending on the size of your company, your projected growth over the period of time that you will be renting for, and whatever other factors might weigh into your decision. Do you have time to take care of potential maintenance problems? Do you want to subject utility payments to the whims of the market? These are all things you should think about before you get started.
Think about your company’s priorities
Once again, the type of office rental arrangement that you choose for your company completely depends on your own particular needs and circumstances. As long as you are educated on the options and know what to expect, you can be confident that you will make the right decision for yourself and your staff. And if your needs change, you will know in advance what you need to do to adjust your office rental terms.