Ready for a new office in Perth? Before you lease an office, read our 10-page guide and make the best decision for your business.
Commercial Leasing Guide: Our Tips
While commercial leasing is an exciting prospect for some, for others, it comes with a degree of uncertainty.
Whether you’re new to leasing commercial properties or just want a recap, here’s our guide to commercial leasing in Perth.
What does a commercial lease entail?
Commercial leasing is similar to the rental agreement for a house in that it’s an agreement between a landowner and a tenant. For commercial leases however, the property is usually an office, warehouse, or industrial space, and is to be used for business activities.
A commercial lease is held together by a contract which should include the following details:
- Outline of the property, plus details of the landowner (lessor), and tenant (lessee).
- Rent amount – usually as an annual figure.
- How long the lease term is and clauses for renewing.
- Responsibility alignment for maintenance or repairs.
- Any outgoings required, including rates and insurance.
- The permitted uses of the property and the hours for which the business can trade (if applicable).
- Various other processes including dispute resolution and clauses such as subleasing agreements.
Commercial leasing tips prior to signing
If you’ve decided commercial leasing is the next step for your business, there is much to consider before you sign on the dotted line.
A long-term commitment (usually)
Unlike residential agreements, commercial leasing is usually a long-term commitment. If your business is starting out, you may negotiate a shorter lease and then options to renew. However, most commercial leasing agreements are between 3 and 10 years, though sometimes separated with renewal options.
A longer lease is better for established businesses as it offers more security.
Consider the location
You should know your business better than anyone – use this to your advantage. When looking for a commercial property to lease, it’s crucial to consider its location. The location should benefit your business operations, so determine:
- If it’s easily accessible by employees.
- If the property is near and easily accessible by your clients/customers (if needed).
- If the property is near required facilities such as a supplier, warehouse, and recreational facilities.
- If there’s direct supply routes for any stock or equipment your business needs.
- If the area is familiar to others in your industry. A common commercial or industrial area is often desirable as there’s better visibility and options for commercial partnerships.
In a recent article we identified two of the best commercial areas for buying or leasing an office in Perth.
Consider your business needs
Much like the location of the commercial lease, you should consider the current and future needs of your business. The perfect property will meet your needs and wants in the short and long-term – though the perfect property is hard to come by, and you may need to target just your core business needs.
Some core business needs that may align with your company:
- Bathroom and toilet facilities.
- Parking on-site or nearby.
- Sufficient storage space.
- A reception or office area (if separate to your main business operations).
- Kitchen or other communal areas away from the workspace.
- Options for signage and other important messaging.
It’s wise to create a checklist or graph to ensure all needs are met when exploring the options available.
Having a clear plan on the financial side of the lease is undeniably the most important step before signing a commercial lease. Ensure your business is stable and capable of paying the rent as well as the various outgoings required.
In most cases you’ll need to provide the landlord with proof of financial security too. For example, a proven bank guarantee or a negotiated and paid security bond – with the proviso that it’s repaid in part or full as required at the ending of the lease.
It pays to have a financial advisor or reliable commercial real estate agent to help get your financials in order.
For more advice on ways to save money while leasing commercially in Perth see this article.
Carefully examine the lease for unexpected clauses
A commercial lease often includes a vast number of clauses unique to the property in question. It’s pivotal that you understand and agree to all underlying clauses before you sign off on the contract. Other common components included in a commercial leasing agreement are:
- ‘Make good’ clause.
- Subletting clauses.
- Terms for ending the lease early or extending it (Option clause).
- Rent review processes.
- Condition reports – ensure you have a record of these.
After agreeing on any terms and conditions, it’s important to keep the records on hand to ensure a smooth lease post signing.
At Ross Scarfone Real Estate, we can assist you with negotiating a commercial lease in Perth – see our properties for lease.
Commercial leasing tips post settlement
So, you’ve signed a new commercial lease, congratulations!
Here’s a few points to remember.
Before making any changes to the property, always seek the approval of the landlord. Depending on the changes, your landlord may be required to pay for them – but you’ll need to check the commercial leasing agreement.
However, you should consider any ‘make good’ clause in the leasing agreement. Depending on the work done on the property, you may have to return it to its original state.
If your business utilises valuable equipment, make sure to ensure the property is well secured. The security details should’ve been outlined in the lease, but if a previous tenant still has access, you should update these systems.
Enquire about changing the locks and/or changing the access codes used on the premises.
Keep track of the rent review clauses in the lease to ensure any rent reviews are in line with what was agreed. If no clause exists, consult a professional before agreeing to any changes in the rent amount.
Make use of sublease or reassign clauses
If the property you’ve acquired has empty rooms, consider any clauses surrounding subletting or reassignment. These options can benefit your business if you’re some time away from filling out the property.
Ready for commercial leasing in Perth?
Many business owners are on the fence about commercial leasing or buying, so which is best for you?
If you’re after an office or similar commercial property, see our comparison between buying and leasing.
Either way, Ross Scarfone Real Estate is here to help! We’re the commercial and industrial real estate agents for Perth’s south-east, specialising in property sales and commercial leasing agreements. If you’re after a commercial property for lease, see our listings.
Or contact us for any other commercial real estate enquiries.
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