7 May 2019/ Tenant Guide

Renting an office space checklist

Finding the perfect office is a complicated business. There’s a lot more to think about than meets the eye, especially if you’re a startup company new to the property game.

Besides the big things like location, size of office, and local amenities, there are lots of details that can easily be overlooked when you’re being shown round a property, and questions you might wished you’d asked while you were there.

To help you out we’ve prepared a checklist of all the important things to bear in mind while you’re property hunting.

Facilities

 

The overall feeling you get for a property can outweigh your attention to detail when you’re viewing. But when it comes to everyday working life the little things will become more important, and if a building is lacking it will affect your performance. Make sure you keep an eye out for the following, and ask the agent to check that they are all in place:

  • Wi-fi
  • Telephone lines
  • Kitchen facilities
  • Storage
  • Security
  • Toilets and showers
  • Disability access
  • Reception area

 

Location

 

Where you are might affect your ability to recruit and retain staff, especially if you’re in a big city. Keep in mind the following:

  • Transport links
  • Proximity to nearby shops and food outlets
  • Parking
  • Nearby parks, leisure facilities and gyms

Interiors

 

Not only is it important that your future office has a nice atmosphere and a good look and feel, but it also needs to suit your company’s identity and be the sort of place where your staff will feel at home. Keep an eye out for:

  • The amount of natural light
  • Modern, high standard fittings
  • The design and decor
  • Whether you can bring in your own furniture, artwork and branding
  • Whether the office matches with your company logo and identity

 

Space

 

Perhaps the fundamental decision is over space – not just the overall size of an office but the interior layout and, importantly, how flexible it is if you’re expecting to grow in the future. Some things to check off the list:

  • Work out how many staff members the office can accommodate (based on an approximate estimate of 108 sq ft per desk)
  • Does the layout suit your style of working?
  • Does the property have enough meeting spaces and private rooms?
  • Does the office allow for expansion? Would a landlord be willing to discuss letting out adjoining space in future if needed?

Lease terms

 

It’s crucial that you fully understand the terms of a lease, including all the small details and legal technicalities before you commit to an office. It’s always worth seeking out your own independent legal advice as well as consulting the agent involved. Right from the start there are some important things to be thinking about:

  • What is the headline rent – and how flexible is this?
  • Usage classification: you can only operate out of a building that has been designated for the usage that suits your business. Landlords are often willing to allow a usage to be re-assigned to accommodate different types of tenant
  • Details such as rent-free period, break clause, terms of payment conditions
  • Potential hidden costs such as business rates, service charge, and advance payments
  • Can you sub-lease space within the office for co-working or hot-desking?
  • Does the lease entitle you to share the office with another company?

 

Realla’s search portal provides far more than just property listings. It enables you to check on these crucial details while you’re still at the search stage. Check out the list of filters available while you search, which allow you to specify a whole range of requirements under the ‘Keywords’ drop-down menu, from the interior design, lighting and space available, to facilities such as wi-fi, bike storage, storage facilities, and what usage has been assigned to a property.