Listen Live

Questions to ask when leasing a space

Here’s a list of questions you should ask your property agent before making any leasing decisions.

Questions to ask when leasing a space_Ithala
iStock

Leasing industrial space can seem daunting. There are so many things that you need to consider. It might seem that your mind is filled to the brim with information, and it becomes very easy to miss a small but important question. You need to make sure you know and understand what you’re signing yourself up for so that there are no surprises for you or the landlord down the line

Ithala Development Finance Corporation has a wealth of experience with industrial and commercial property letting in KZN. Contact them now and let them guide you through the process and help you find a rental that suits you. Their experienced property managers will ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Here is a list of questions you shouldn’t forget to ask your property agent before making your decision.

1. What is the length of the lease? 

Be very clear on this and make sure you don’t take a lease too long that will leave you tied down, or too short that you might find yourself once again looking for another property when you’ve just settled. Remember moving is an expensive operation.

2. What kind of rental increases can you expect? 

Don’t be afraid to ask if there are increases every year or how the increases are structured. This is vital for your budget and your planning and ensuring you can actually afford the property. and ensuring you can actually afford the property.

3. What does the rent include and exclude? 

You must define who is responsible for what. Costs that you might not have known about or clarified can mess with your budget and planning and can seriously hinder your business.

4. Can you make changes to the space to reflect your brand? 

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a beige office with no personality and no reflection of your brand or what it is your business does. Your business space should work for you and your business needs. Make sure that you’re allowed to make changes firstly, and what you’re expected to do when you eventually leave the space.

5. Who are the other tenants or proposed tenants, and will you be consulted on direct neighbour tenants before new leases are signed? 

If you need a peaceful and quiet office space, you definitely don’t want a dance studio belting out tunes or a karate dojo with shouting and foot stomping next to or above you. It’s important to know who your neighbours are, and that your landlord understands your business needs right from the start. Clarifying all these necessities now will prevent any confusion in the future.

6. Who is responsible for insurance and what does the cover policy make provision for should something happen to the building? 

Don’t be caught in a sticky and finance threatening situation should something go wrong. Be aware of what you’re covered for in the event of damage or a catastrophe. An unexpected event that can threaten your business and livelihoods of your staff can be avoided when the correct cover is in place.

7. What is the technology infrastructure available? 

Nobody’s got time for a slow Internet connection. Ensure that the connection available will meet your business demands, and if not, ask if you’re able to implement your own solution.

8. Does the building meet various health and safety requirements and are the certificates available for inspection? 

You have to make sure that the space is safe for your staff, and you can ensure this by requesting all certification and documentation about this. This not only covers your business should something go wrong, but also ensures that your staff are taken care of.

9. If the space is within an office park, what are the rules of the park and can you have them in writing for clarification? 

Rules are not made to be broken, and your business will run all the better if you familiarise yourself and your staff with them. Knowing and understanding the rules will ensure your relationship with your landlord remains pleasant. Also, make sure your staff understands the rules to avoid any unnecessary issues.

10. Should your business circumstances change, are you allowed to sublet a portion of your business space?

Your business might shrink and you might need less space. It could be cheaper to retain some of your space rather than move again. Speak to the property managers about this possibility and what their flexibility is like in a situation like this. Would it be permissible to sublet some of your space to another business which would compliment yours? You are never going to know unless you ask.

ithala progress
Ithala Development Finance Corporation

Ithala Development Finance Corporation has a portfolio of properties in various KZN locations to suit your needs and meet all your requirements. Visit www.ithala.co.za for more information and to speak to an experienced property manager and advisor.

Show's Stories