5 Things to Check Before Leasing a Commercial SpaceReynaldo Rolo
If you’re in the market for a commercial space to lease, you’ve likely been reading up on what to look for. From finding the right broker to finding the right amount of square footage to the appropriate zoning for the type of business you’ll be conducting, there’s plenty to think about when deciding on where to run your business.
While some of the more obvious aspects to consider might be crossed off your list, like rent, the location, who will be paying for what, the stipulations of your leasing contract, and more, it’s important to leave no stone unturned all the way until you get those keys in hand. This will help you foresee and avoid any potential problems in your day to day workflow, identify any repairs that need to be done in the space before you take occupancy and it will allow you to allocate the work expense to the appropriate party (you as the tenant or the landlord,) detailed in the lease.
One of the make-or-break moments where many tenants drop the ball and end up creating headaches for themselves later on is during the walk-through. Before you sign that lease, you’ll need to make a note of some very important details that will affect the ergonomic functionality and even the safety of your business, within the terms of its day to day operations.
Electric Wiring Check
Another essential aspect to running your business smoothly will be the electrical aspects. Check the space for sufficient and well placed electrical outlets. Inspect static light fixtures and look for any broken, frayed or otherwise damaged electrical cables in or leading out of the building.
In today’s business world, everyone relies heavily on internet connection no matter what their business model consists of. Unfortunately, internet capacity isn’t equal across the board and can often vary widely from building to building. The location you’re considering might be a dream space, flaunting a cool look, great price and whatever else you’re hoping for, but if internet providers do not offer high speed internet in that area, you’ll be setting yourself up for some major setbacks and frustrations.
Slow loading, excessive buffering times and frequent internet drops could translate to hundreds of lost dollars and eventually, lost customers, regardless of the nature of your business. Ask the landlord, check with providers or even interview neighboring business owners to be sure your new commercial space is up to speed.
Unless you happen to also have plumbing expertise yourself, you likely won’t have the in-depth know how and insight to fully inspect a premises for proper plumbing layout. You can, however, focus your attention to certain things that will reveal whether or not the plumbing deserves a closer look from a professional. Make sure all faucets and toilets are in good working order, with no water pressure issues.
Looking under cabinets or places where pipes are found may reveal cracks or signs of water damage that point to previous or current leaks. You can always hire a plumber that has no stake in the deal to do a walk-through with you and point out any possible issues before you sign the lease.
One huge problem that could arise, if not detected before moving in, is mold. The undetected presence of mold in a commercial space could reveal damage to the property later on that you will be blamed for and expected to pay for. It could also result in penalization for building code violations, legal issues from employees or customers who may be affected by breathing in the mold, and an overall blow to the image of your business if customers start detecting the mold when they visit your establishment. All of these possibilities translate to dollars lost and serious harm to your business.
A business with toxic mold can lead to serious problems, even high profile lawsuits that will inevitably shut down the business. It is imperative that a commercial space be inspected by a certified professional prior to the lease signing; the professional will point out if there is mold, the type, and the level of damage it may have caused. It is then crucial to have mold remediation performed properly, also by a certified mold remediation company, to rectify the problem.
Acoustics & Shared Walls
Unforeseen by many commercial tenants, one potential disruptor of day to day operations is noise; depending on the nature of your business, the acoustics of a space could have a large impact on your team’s efficiency. Make sure the room you select as a sales office does not echo. This will eliminate any communication issues on calls with potential clients and, if there are multiple sales people in one room, it will keep calls from getting mixed up with each other.
Also, be sure to check out who you share walls with; if your business is a spa, for example, that calls for a relaxing, quiet space and shares a thin wall with a recording or dance studio, you may run into serious problems in the future.
While you may be eager to move into your new commercial space and it may seem tedious to go through all these additional checks, taking the extra time to inspect these aspects thoroughly, with the help of professionals, can end up saving you countless hours, dollars, and headaches down the road.