When preparing to lease commercial real estate for your office, retail location, lab space, or any other property need, any prospective lessee should always take a tour to be sure he or she knows exactly what will be included.
A safe and comfortable environment is important for most offices, retail locations, or lab spaces, and a quality landlord will maintain its premises accordingly. While taking a tour, look for locks on doors and windows, as well as proper lighting in common areas and parking lots. Ask whether the property is patrolled by after-hours watch staff or has cameras that monitor activity. Inquire about access to any recorded incidents, if ever needed.
Check for indications that there may have been structural issues or problematic tenants in the space. Be on the lookout for stains in the ceiling, odor in the carpet, or hairline cracks in the walls. Lessees always have the right to and should ask a landlord questions about anything they see in a commercial property, before signing any lease.
It can be easy to overlook the parking when touring a potential new office space. Make sure there is ample parking for both employees and clients, and ask whether it is included with the lease, or does it perhaps come with a fee. Business owners in colder climates should inquire how snow plowing is handled.
On the tour, check for wheelchair ramps, elevators, wide entry doors, and properly equipped restroom facilities. These features will ensure that all employees and clients can enter easily and feel welcome. If accommodations for handicapped employees or visitors are not adequate, these modifications could become very expensive.
Although not located within the office space, common areas such as lobbies, elevators, hallways, and shared restrooms will make an impression on visiting clients, and should be maintained accordingly.
Check out the other companies located in the neighborhood. It may be convenient to have business services nearby, such as an office supply store, bank, or printer. In addition, employees may greatly appreciate being close to restaurants, a day care, coffee shops, or a health club.