As a prospective tenant, you’ve found that office that you’re excited about, one that you can imagine yourself working in for long hours at a time. You’ve meticulously planned out your business needs and requirements, and this office seems to fit the bill. Well, what then? The lease negotiations are the next step in the process, and you must apply the same planning and foresight to this stage as you did during the actual search. Since your lease will be very specific and detailed, it’s important to know exactly what you want during all stages of the process so that you can maximize the potential of your office space.
As a tenant, you should ask yourself: does your business require that your office have additional features? Oftentimes, an office doesn’t come completely built and primed for immediate move-in. Rather, you must arrange that specific enhancements be made, so that the space is tailored to your business needs. For instance, Marcia Stewart mentions in LandlordTenantLawfirms that a business in the food industry could require the construction of a new kitchen. Or, a business could simply need more workstations installed in the space. These enhancements, whether they be major or minor, must be spelled out in the lease, under a clause called “Improvements and Alterations.”
As you customize your office space, you will wonder who should design your space. Are you confident in your own abilities to do it yourself, or should you hand the responsibility over to the landlord? Depending on how comfortable you are with the process, the decision is up to you. However, according to Stewart, there are undeniable advantages to allowing the landlord to design the space. The landlord is already familiar with the space, and can use their insider’s perspective to make effective decisions.
Regardless of who does the design, the actual construction is customarily, but not always, handled by the landlord. As specified by Stewart, the landlord usually allocates a specific sum of money, called the Tenant Improvement Allowance (TIA), to the tenant for construction costs. If the construction costs exceed that amount, then the tenant is responsible for covering the balance.
To custom-design your office for your business, it is paramount that you think things through from beginning to end. Essentially, it’s all about strategy. You, as the tenant, need to decide how best to allocate your resources in order to get the most use out of your office. In other words, consider your office as an investment. Don’t you want to get the best returns on this investment, by creating an office space that allows your business to thrive? If the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ (as it should be), then work with your landlord as a team to design the office that’s right for you. Article