Renting Commercial Property - The Questions You Need to Ask Your Agent

If you're looking to rent commercial property in the West Midlands then you're in luck. Due to the area's history of industrial growth, decline and rebirth, there are lots of areas and types of properties to rent, from warehouses to office space to retail shops.

Renting commercial property tips

If you're planning on renting any type of property, here's some tips and guidelines you should try to follow before you decide to sign on the dotted line.

Who is responsible for what?

  • Internal and external maintenance: You need to know who is responsible for paying any maintenance on the place you rent. That includes both internal and external areas. If it is you who is responsible you should also find out what level of maintenance is expect, as you may get charged for wear and tear bills at the end of you tenancy.
  • Meeting the standards: If you're running a business from a location it will need to meet certain standards regarding the health, safety and fire risk of the building. Find out if it's you or the land lord who is responsible for meeting the correct standards.
  • Insuring the building: You will most likely be responsible for your contents insurance, but check whether you're responsible for insuring the building itself, or if it's included in your rental fee.
  • Getting the correct classification: To run your business from the premises you need to make sure that the building has the correct classification for the type of business you intend to run. Find out if this is your responsibility to handle.
  • Disabled access requirements: All business-use buildings need to meet certain standards and requirements to allow disabled access. Find out if you're responsible for meeting these standards, and paying for any changes needed.

Your rent and what it covers

  • When and how it's paid: You must double check when it is due to be paid and how it is expected to be paid. Also, what happens in the case of late payment, or inability to pay.
  • Your deposit: You must find out not only how much your deposit is, but also the terms of regaining your deposit once your tenancy has ended. Find out what deductions could be.
  • What's included: Find out exactly what your rent covers, for example; utilities, business rates, insurance, shared facilities, cleaning, service and maintenance etc.
  • Possible changes: Find out if and how often your rent comes up for review, and what the likely changes might be. Don't assume that what you sign for will never change.

The premises itself

  • Restrictions on usage: Assuming the building is certified for your intended business use, find out if there are any other restrictions such as restrictions on subletting.
  • Access: Find out if there are any restrictions on your access to the premises that would hamper your ability to trade as you would like.
  • Security: Ask about what security is in place on the premises. Are locks up to the correct standard, is there CCTV, is there a security patrol etc.

Ending your lease

Even though you're just thinking about starting your lease, you need to think about when it ends too.

  • Break clauses: If you're on a long term lease, check if you are able to break the lease early should you need to. Also, find out if there are any penalties for this.

What to do next

There are many properties available for commercial rent in the West Midlands. Once you know what questions you need to be asking it's time to start visiting the agents to see what available on the market.

Click here to read a more in depth Guide to commercial property in the West Midlands.

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