3 Things You Shouldn’t Overlook When Your Office Lease Is Expiring
Author: Jeff Pollock
Did you know that more than half of all business owners searching for new office space are doing so because of an expiring lease? At least that’s what our entrepreneurial tenant community told us in a recent survey. So, as an active tenant representative and advocate throughout the office leasing process, we got to wondering if business owners have adequate information about what they need to do before they sign the lease for the new office space. In our efforts to give you some of that information, the following are three things you shouldn’t overlook when your office lease is about to expire:
1) The Lease
While you likely have your new office lease (or at least the search for your new office space) on your mind, don’t forget to dig up your existing lease hidden away deep on your hard drive or, worse, in an old school, coffee-stained file folder. Once you’ve located it, review your lease for any obligations you may have at the time of its expiration. Possible leasee obligations may include maintenance, repair, cleaning, removal of furniture, fixture and/or equipment, and more. Be sure to follow these requirements – or, as your agreement might say, “to fully and faithfully carry out all of these terms” – in order to get your security deposit back.
2) The Move
Start early! Depending on the size of your company, you’ll want to start the moving process 1 – 4 months out. Take this time to declutter and purge. You should also check up on your building’s move-out regulations. Consider, realistically, how long your move may take. This is a crucial factor since the longer your move takes, the longer your organization is closed and/or business is dramatically slowed.
As your moving day draws nearer, check-in to see that your new workspace is move-in ready. Track each step of the move so that you can stay on top of any professional helpers you have hired for services (e.g., cleaning team, repairman, packers, movers, etc.). A delay from any one of these professionals or your new office can dramatically impact your move schedule putting you back days, weeks or more!
Remember to update your address with USPS, Google, other online company listings, your own website and social media channels, clients, vendors, customers, etc. Additionally, you should notify the City for your business license, IRS and the Secretary of State.
Lastly, be sure to review the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Checklist at both your old and new offices. And, gather your building keys, mailbox keys, key fobs and/or parking permits for the return to your landlord upon move-out.
You may be asking yourselves, why the whole separate section for my Internet Service Provider (ISP)? In today’s companies, there’s no doubt how integral a role the Internet plays in the core functioning of your day-to-day business. That’s why you should contact your ISP and tech vendors at least two months prior to your move. Additionally, schedule a site visit to your new office with IT to determine the network cabling requirements. Review your bandwidth and be sure to secure a sufficient amount for your staff. If you’re growing, you’ll likely need to obtain faster service.
Above all else, confirm that your ISP provides service to your new office location before you sign a new lease! Finally, place an order to move your service and pay close attention to the install and cut-over dates.
Moving to a new office location is no small feat. But, the true key to success with any expiring lease is to start early, dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s, and secure the best new location for your business needs. As the American auto racer Bobby Unser once said, “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”