When you're considering all of the important details about your office lease, parking may not be a top priority, but overlooking the clauses related to parking is a big mistake. Carefully analyzing the parking details can spare your company the hassles of a parking shortage or unexpected costs. Here are five reasons why you need to pay attention to parking:
1. Parking Has a Big Impact on Your Team
If employees arrive to work and cannot find a place to park, they'll be walking into the office stressed and may be less productive. When reviewing your lease, take note of the number of spaces that you are guaranteed for your employees and consider whether or not it is adequate. Normally, commercial leases provide a parking ratio of a set number of spots per square feet. Do the math to determine just how many spaces you'll be allotted. It's a good idea to take a survey of your team to find out how many spots you'll need.
2. Parking Affects Your Guests
Most commercial leases provide visitor parking for family, vendors, clients and prospective customers that visit tenants. You'll want to find out how many visitor spaces your guests will be allotted and where these spaces are located. Visit the visitor parking area and think about what type of impression it will make upon drivers. Will the parking positively reflect on your company or will its condition or inaccessibility get visits to your office off to a bad start?
3. Parking Impacts Your Bottom Line
Depending on the terms of your lease, you may be assessed a fee for every space you use or a flat fee. You may also need to pay for parking validations for visitors. Take the time to carefully read the terms related to fees for parking. Find out how they are calculated and make sure that the fee is specifically mentioned in the clause. If parking is offered for free to your company, the contract should spell this out. Don't leave it up to a verbal agreement that could be changed in the future.
4. Your Parking Needs May Change in the Future
What works for your company in terms of parking now may not suit your needs in a year or two. You may begin to have employees telecommute or more of your employees may opt to take public transportation or bike to work. There's also a chance that your company may grow and require extra spaces in the future. Having some flexibility in your lease can ensure that you're prepared for these changes. Make sure that the language related to the number of allotted spaces includes the words "up to," so that you'll only be charged for spaces that you occupy. You can also consider requesting the right of first refusal for parking, obligating the landlord to offer you new spaces if they become available.
5. Parking Can Impact Employee Health and Safety
You don't want your employees to have to park in lots that are not secure or are poorly lit. Find out what security measures are in places to protect both vehicles and their drivers and make sure that you tour all parking facilities at night to assess the illumination.
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