If you find yourself needing to lease warehouse space, or another type of industrial unit, there is a lot that you need to be aware of. The checklist below will help you to ask the right questions, and to ensure that you end up leasing the right space for you, and paying a fair price.
The first step is to set a budget. This will help to ensure that you do not end up risking the financial security of your business by leasing a unit you really cannot afford.
Understand the lease terms
The length of leases for industrial warehousing varies. Some are surprisingly lengthy. Be aware of this. and be prepared to negotiate the length of the lease. Most commercial property agents are amenable to doing this.
It is very important to examine the lease in detail. If there is something that you are not sure of, sit down with a lawyer and go through it all. Be sure you understand what your right are should there be a fire, flood, or another event that could stop you from being able to operate out of your business premises.
Try to look for an industrial unit that offers you as much flexibility as possible. Often it is impossible for you to know where your business will be just a few months from now. The more flexible the space you lease is the better. If you are offered a big contract, the last thing you need is not to be able to take it on because you do not have enough room to store the raw materials.
Usually, it makes sense to lease a unit in an area where there are plenty of others. That way if you need more space you can easily lease an additional warehouse nearby.
Also, find out whether you will be able to sub-let your existing unit should your business need to move to new premises. It is just as important to understand the terms of renewing the lease. You do not want to have to move your business because it is not possible to renew the lease.
Who pays for maintenance?
Warehousing and the facilities need to be maintained. You need to know who is responsible for paying for all this and making sure that the work is done. It often comes as a surprise to new business owners to learn that many commercial leases stipulate that they are responsible for some aspects of maintaining the building.
Make sure that the unit you are planning to lease can be used in the way you need. Never assume that just because it is an industrial unit you can store anything there, or that you can operate around the clock. For example, in some areas, there are local council restrictions in place that could stop you from taking early morning or late night deliveries.
Next time you see an industrial warehouse to let in London, or in another city, follow the advice above to make sure it is right for your business and secure the best terms.