Are you looking for retail space for lease? It is an exciting time for a business owner to set up their brick and mortar shop, but if you get yourself stuck in the wrong retail space for lease, it can be a living nightmare.
To help you out, we’ve put together a guide to a few things you should think about while searching for retail space for lease:
Four Things to Think About While Looking for Retail Space for Lease
- Consider the anchor stores in your building.
There are a lot of advantages to finding a small retail space for rent in a shopping center with a large anchor store. Maybe it might be difficult to get customers to go out of their way to make a trip to your retail shop on their own, but if you’re right next door to a grocery store, they can easily walk next door when they’re done getting groceries.
However, many times, since the landlords of shopping centers like this make most of their money off of the anchor store, any decisions they make will be in favor of the big guy. This could hurt you if the anchor store has a non-complete clause, or won’t allow exterior signage from other tenants, for example.
Before signing your life away on a commercial property for rent, make sure you closely read the stipulations in the contract regarding the anchor store, and what power they hold over the other tenants.
- Understand your financial obligations.
While hunting for commercial space for lease, it is easy to get hung up on how much the rent is each month. Your monthly rent is going to take a big chunk out of your profitability. However, this isn’t the only factor you should consider.
The financial factors associated with business space for rent are different than if you were just shopping for an apartment or home for rent. You’ll most likely be subject to maintenance fees for property you share with other tenants in the complex, for example. You might have to pay fees for your client’s use to the parking lot, especially if the shared parking lot is used by multiple property owners. If you only focus on the cost of the monthly rent, you might find it really disappointing when you’re blindsided with additional bills.
- Make sure you know what you can and cannot do to the space.
It is almost a given that you’ll make renovations to a retail space to make it appropriate for your brand. However, not all landlords are the same with what they do and do not allow. Some landlords take a “do whatever you want” approach, while some require you to present the changes in advance for their approval. You also might be required to undo whatever changes you make when your lease is concluded and you move out; if this is the case for your commercial space, it’s a factor you will want to keep in mind while designing your renovation.
To make sure you don’t get painted into a corner and stuck in a space you can’t really make your own, make sure you understand what you’ll be able to do with the space before you move in.
- Read the fine print before you sign.
Everything might seem on the up and up with your commercial property lease, so you can follow your gut and sign away, right? Wrong. You need to put on your bi-focal glasses and read every word in that contract before you sign it.
Unlike residential leases that are tightly regulated and leave tenants with some legal leverage, commercial leases have less government oversight. The lease will most likely expect you to pay for repairs on the property (even though you don’t own it, and so they keep the benefits of your cost). If the air conditioning goes out, that could cost and arm and a leg. To protect yourself, make sure to include verbiage in contract for a maximum dollar amount that you would be responsible for, for example. You have leverage over the fine print until you sign the dotted line.
Do you have any other questions or comments about looking for a retail space for lease? Please share in the comment section below!