Before you commit to a lease, make sure that you have covered all of the important issues with the leasing agent regarding your rent and any questions that could arise during your tenancy. Here are a few questions to make sure you ask, as suggested in the article “Four Questions to Ask Before Signing a Commercial Lease”:
#1 Does the listed square footage describe usable or rentable square feet?
Note that these two numbers are different: usable square footage is the space that makes up just your office space, whereas rentable square footage also takes into account shared space in the property, such as lobbies, walls, restrooms, etc.
#2 What does rent cover?
Know what kind of lease you are signing—a net lease, gross lease, percentage lease, etc. Leases can be all over a spectrum ranging from everything being included, such as janitorial services and utilities (gross), to you as a tenant being charged for operation expenses (triple-net lease). Know what kind of lease you are getting into so you can evaluate and plan your budget accordingly.
#3 Who pays for maintenance costs?
This is a question you want to have an answer to before anything goes wrong in your space. What is handled by a property’s maintenance staff, and what is handled by you the tenant? Think of things such as leaky roofs, squeaking doors, bad faucets, electrical ballasts, etc.
#4 Does my rent increase each year?
Most leases will stipulate small yearly rent increases, but there are various ways to structure these increases:
- fixed yearly increases
- variable increases that take into account changes in property expenses
- adjustments based on the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for your location, a rate set by the U.S. government
Talk to your agent about how increases for your lease will be determined.
It is important to have a clear answer to all of these questions before signing a commercial real estate lease so that there are no surprise expenses during your tenancy. Do a little research and get some clear answers from a leasing agent before you sign the dotted line.
If your business is interested in commercial space for lease in Overland Park, give a commercial real estate broker in Overland Park a call at 913-685-4100. We can talk to you about rental rates, calculating square footage, property management, and any other questions you may have about renting a space in Overland Park!