Advice: Top tips for moving office

Brent Forbes of Petty Chartered Surveyors gives his top tips to ensure an efficient move.

Brent Forbes Pettys1. Common area maintenance charges to watch out for.

Maintenance charges can be a service charge for maintaining the common areas often found in an office building or a retail location. This is in addition to your monthly rent and can change significantly from year to year so take into account the current charges and how they may fluctuate over the coming years.

2. Do you need to provide a Personal Guarantee?

This protects the landlord and is often put in place in case a tenant defaults on the lease and then claims bankruptcy. If you have given a personal guarantee to the landlord don’t forget that he can come after the guarantor for the balance owed.

3. Do you have property taxes to pay for?

Some Landlords pay property taxes for commercial space and this can be relayed back to you and be included within the service charge. If you find this within your agreement ask for full clarification so that you are clear on exactly what it is you are paying for.

4. Transfer clauses.

Some of the more flexible leases will allow you to sublet or transfer your lease if you decide to move. However the landlord may require your incoming tenant to satisfy certain criteria. Consequently assigning your lease to a new tenant may not be straightforward and may hold up your relocation.

5. Limitation of use.

Check that there aren’t any restrictions within your lease for example with opening times, signage or restricted access at certain times. These limitations could hinder your business and become prohibitive to your future success.

6. Pre-existing condition clauses.

Some landlords are now inserting these clauses which require tenants to restore the accommodation to its original condition and appearance when they move out. This can be a very costly expense and can make the changes that you have initially planned too costly to rectify when you leave.

7. Tenant repairs

Ensure you know who is responsible for the repair of central heating systems, lighting and leaking windows and so on. Many landlords will attempt to have tenants pay for the expenses so clarify the situation and have it written in to your lease so there is no ambiguity. Brent Forbes Director Petty Chartered Surveyors