Guest blog by Mildred Delgado. Mildred Delgado is an up-and-coming marketing strategist at Originwritings and AcademicBrits, where she has already assisted on several high-profile marketing campaigns. She also presents at and contributes to PHDKingdom. Follow her on Twitter.
As a business, having a physical office space is still, mostly, an obligatory situation. There may be more and more businesses who are set up to work entirely as remote business models, but for the vast majority of enterprises, at least in the short to medium term, physical office space will not be something that can be compromised upon. It is an integral business consideration
Searching out, securing, and then maintaining a suitable office space will almost always be performed on a rental basis in the case of the vast majority of businesses. And that in itself poses any number of questions, and potential pitfalls, including unwelcome (and unexpected) expenses, if you are not careful. Who, then, is responsible for repair costs in a rented commercial property?
Generally speaking, and the laws may vary slightly from state to state, and of course it depends on the small print in the contract, the tenant will be responsible for maintaining the property in a good condition, and vacating it in a state which is akin to the state that is was taken on in. Repairs (which can also be referred to under other guises as technical terms which only succeed in complicating matters further) will usually fall to the tenant if not otherwise stated in the lease, but again this may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and detailed research and reading of all lease agreements is essential before taking on any commercial lease.
Once again, generally speaking, commercial landlords are responsible for all structural concerns, meaning walls, floors, ceilings, roofs, access points and so on, with utilities such as plumbing and air conditioning a little more of a grey area. Again, the standards may vary from state to state, so it all boils down to what is contained in the contract. Therefore…
Draw Up a Watertight Contract
A contract which protects you in terms of repair costs is essential when renting a commercial property.
“It must be explicitly stated within the contract whose responsibility it is to pay for specifically what repairs required to the property throughout the rental tenure. Do not leave anything to chance, and it is a good idea to have a legal expert take a look over the lease contract before signing anything,” says Charlie Malthouse, a broker at WritemyX and BritStudent.
A Tenant Representative Broker
It is highly recommended, in nearly all cases when seeking out commercial real estate, to use a tenant representative broker in the process. Firstly, not all commercial property is openly listed, so a broker may be able to access properties that you cannot on your own. Secondly, a broker who is experienced in the ways of commercial real estate will be able to assist in the drawing up of a contract that suits you as a tenant and can protect you against hidden charges and picking up any liabilities in the case of repairs, for example.
“A tenant rep broker will also be able to speed up the often-lengthy process of renting the property, and best of all, as the tenant, you won’t pay a penny for this service, as it is the landlord who picks up the tab. Utilizing this type of service just makes smart sense,” enthuses Maria Rebone, a business writer at 1day2write and NextCoursework.
Your rental property will be a key undertaking in the running of your business, and any additional and unexpected costs picked up here, especially in the early days of your business, can be fatal. SMEs, with exceptions, don’t have the type of cash flows to factor in unforeseen repair costs to a property that is rented, so make sure you don’t get caught by first of all seeking out a tenant representative broker, and then hiring a legal aspect to run through all contracts before signing.
Don’t leave yourself vulnerable in terms of this types of liabilities, be sure that someone will be there to organize and pay for repairs that need to be performed as and when necessary, and be free to get on with the day to day activities involved in running a successful business.
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