Once you’ve arrived at the decision to lease a new commercial real estate space, you might be wondering “ok, what’s next?”. You may be transitioning from a home-based business or expanding into a larger space, the decision to lease can come with many unknowns and stresses.
Most landlords and building owners have professional representation looking out for their best interests. When it comes to leasing space for your business, you should have the same! As a Tenant you can hire what’s called a Tenant’s Representative or a Tenant’s Agent to professionally look after your best interests.
As a Tenant in the marketplace you have to make a good impression in order to give yourself the best opportunity of negotiating the best lease rates. Here are some helpful tips to follow to make sure you are taken seriously in marketplace by Landlords:
- Prepare a resume detailing your industry experience: If you are a start-up business and don’t already have an established business location, Landlords will ask to see your resume.
- Have a copy of your Articles of Incorporation Or Business Registration handy.
- Make sure you have cash available for a Deposit: It is customary to provide a deposit to a Landlord to hold the empty space for you until your move-in date. Typically this could be the equivalent of 2 Months Rent + Taxes, in some cases it could be more.
- Have cash available for your closing costs: Essentially, any inspections you want to do or specialists you need to bring in. This can vary widely depending on the industry.
- Make sure to have a lawyer pre-selected: You will be calling upon their expertise later on in the process.
- Meet with a Commercial REALTOR® who has experience in Tenant Representation.
Showings & Property Selection
- Established your space requirements and property criteria: For example things like overall size, location, ceilings heights, storefront, loading docks, wheelchair access.
- Set your budget and outline the financial considerations that need to be incorporated into your plan.
- Have your Commercial REALTOR® pre-screen listings based on your criteria and budget.
- Visit, with your Tenant Representative, all potential commercial spaces that meet your needs.
Getting Ready For The Offer To Lease
- Make sure there is a Floor Plan, Site Plan, And Dimensions Of The Rental Unit documented.
- Gather a quote for Commercial Tenant’s Insurance: Landlord’s will ask for it as a lease clause. Often times this will be for $2 million to $5 million for general liability.
- Conduct a Zoning Bylaw review to ensure the planned usage of the commercial space is allowed.
- Draft a Cheque or Money Order for the deposit amount you are planning to attach to your offer to lease.
- Have your Tenant Representative draft an Offer To Lease on your behalf.
Post Offer Follow Ups
- Complete any inspections or specialist consultations of the rental unit you are offering on.
- Satisfy any additional Terms & Conditions needed: This could be financial approval, Board approval, City Permits, Regulatory Approval, etc…
- Meet with your Lawyer to review the formal lease documents that the Landlord has prepared for you.
- Execute the Lease by signing it and having the Landlord sign it.
- Set up any Utilities in your name and start planning your move.
A Commercial REALTOR® has the experience and market knowledge to find the right type of space that will fit with your business plans and financial requirements. In effect, giving you a business partner whose main goal is to help you find the right space for you and your business, at the best possible price.
The Flatlands Real Estate Team is experienced in Commercial Tenant Representation, please contact us to see how we can help.