8 important issues to consider when signing a commercial lease

Creating a space for your business and team is a great step in building momentum and positivity for your company. Opting for a commercial fitout takes your space to the next level; by adding personal touches to your office, you’re constructing an environment that will be warmly welcomed by your staff and clients. It’s also important to consider a potential fitout during this early stage of planning, as it allows you to keep your end goal in mind while searching for a new space.

Keep the following tips in mind before giving the final go-ahead on your new office:

Consider the space in relation to your specific company needs. Different needs will come with different teams; for example, a medical or dentistry clinic will require a space with very specific rooms and amenities, compared to a creative agency after an open area with partitions and room for whiteboards and communal spaces. Your fitout specialist will help pinpoint the things your space should have to get the most out of your future fitout.

  1. Have your contract checked by a professional advisor. Legal advice will protect you from any clauses or lines in the contract you might not be able to pick up on.
  2. Confirm the required rent is at market rate. Depending on the location and size of the space, rates will differ but it’s good to take into account all extra costs, including service charges, insurance, legal and any electricity costs as these could potentially impact your commercial fitout budget.
  3. Confirm the procedure for maintenance and payment of replacement services. This could impact the ongoing running of necessary building amenities, such as air conditioning, elevators and any services for the disabled.
  4. Double check the requirements for rentable square metres, especially for common areas and shared facilities. Your leasable area documentation will explain what’s included and ideally, the measurements should match the Property Council of Australia (PCA) Method of Measurement.
  5. Give thought to your lease term. Signing a longer agreement will oblige your company to remain in the space until it’s over, regardless of your staff growth. Will more people join your team over time? Will you need space to accommodate future clients? Take these into consideration as you make your decision.
  6. Confirm the make good clause. You can seek advice from a fitout specialist to help you work out exactly what conditions you’ll need to cover, depending on your commercial fitout. Scoping this out early on will help you avoid any extra charges from the landlord down the track.
  7. Negotiate a rent free period that may be applicable to your space during the commercial fitout phase. Planning out an estimated time period with your fitout specialist can also help you give accurate timelines when discussing this with your landlord.

Signing a lease on a space is a big commitment for your company and team. Consider all the tips above and don’t forget to chat with your executive level staff or ask for wider team feedback to source the best location and space for your team!