Questions to Ask Before Leasing: 2/10

Over the next few weeks, we will be adding to our series of helpful tips for businesses starting to look into leasing. This post is the second of 10 on the essential questions you should ask before signing an office lease.


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Besides base rent, what other things might a tenant pay for?


Hidden costs can add up tremendously when you’re leasing a space, that’s why you need to understand some of the basic elements of additional costs. Let’s break down the basics.


Utilities – Tenants are typically responsible for paying utilities which usually include gas, electricity, and in some cases water. It’s crucial that you know exactly what you’re expected to pay.

(An Essential Tip) : You should find out if your suite will be separately metered, if heating and cooling are part of CAM or yours, or if you will be required to pay for a proportionate share of the entire building. If there is only one meter in the building, you need to know what the hours of building operation are and what else may impact the utility charges as it may have an impact on your overall budget.

Internet – find out who the internet provider is in the building – if you’re lucky your property management team will provide high speed internet at affordable packages. Ask if the landlord has any special price packages for you to sign up with a specific provider. Be sure to have your IT person check out all of the suite components to be certain they will meet your business needs.

Telephones – determine if your current telephone provider is available in the building. Find out how easy it would be to port your current phone number if your current telephone service provider is not available in the building. Ask if voice over internet phone (VoIP) service is available and if the landlord provides any special deals for you to use the same service.

Janitorial service – find out exactly what cleaning services are provided in your suite under the terms of your lease. Since cleaning service is done after regular business hours, be sure to ask your landlord for references or background check on the cleaning service and its personnel. It is important that you feel comfortable with the company being used by the landlord

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While these are just some of the basic costs associated with leasing, there are many to keep a look-out for. Always make sure you read through your lease and understand the terms. Don’t be afraid to question things you don’t fully understand. Your future landlord should strive to provide services that fulfill your needs.

Stay tuned for next week’s message on Tenant Improvements!