Regardless of your decision to stay or go, your landlord will be reviewing their options for the building and your space. Whether it’s increasing the rent at the renewal stages or redeveloping the entire building, approach your landlord early (up to 24 months before lease expiry for large-scale projects) to find out their long-term goals. Keep an open dialogue with your landlord as fluctuating economic and market conditions will influence their overall objectives.
Commercial agents have the knowledge and experience of the property rental market and desirable locations. Depending on the size of your organisation and current market conditions, you should begin this process 18 months before your lease expiration. Their expertise will help locate properties which are aligned with your objectives.
Your agent’s role doesn’t cease with securing the new property. A team of competent chartered surveyors should provide site surveys, condition schedules and confirm the legal requirements of the potential workplace meet the required standards and your own business needs. Your surveyors will work alongside you from 12 months in the process through to your move-in date.
No matter the size of the project, finding the right fit out partner to strategise and design your workplace is essential. If you’re renewing your lease, you will likely want to refresh your space with an office refurbishment. If you are moving to a new space, you will need someone to design the new office. An office design and fit out company will help you with both options and can advise you on the considerations for staying, renegotiating and relocating to a new space. Usually, you will partner with a fit out company from about 12 to 6 months before your lease expiry, although it may be longer depending on the scope of work.
Renting commercial property is a major financial decision so if you are unsure of the financial implications of your space or want to review your real estate costs, you should engage a financial team 24-18 months before your lease expires. Ask them to draw up a budget forecast and review your current real estate costs to ensure they are aligned with your overall business strategy and budget.
To ensure you don’t incur any extra costs while navigating your lease, it is recommended to seek legal advice. Commercial property transactions can be complicated and consulting with commercial property solicitors at the start of the process (18 months prior to lease expiration) could help save you money. They will advise on your lease obligations in terms of the notice period, rent review and dilapidations which may also provide you with the peace of mind that you’ve fulfilled your commitments.