Tenant’s Guide to the Legal Issues involved with an Office Relocation

The legal issues surrounding an office move are paramount to the ongoing success and security of your business. There are 3 key areas of an office move that require special attention from a commercial, operational and legal perspective. By calling OneSource Moving, we can give you all the information needed to move to a new office.

BEFORE THE OFFICE MOVE:   Tenant’s “Exit” Strategy from Current Office

Whether your office lease is about to expire, you have an option to break in your existing lease or you just want to take advantage of favorable market conditions you need to understand and evaluate your options. It is important you are aware of what notice you need to give to terminate the lease, and how and when it should be served.

The continually changing demands of a business often require tenants to vacate their existing premises before the lease has expired, and depending on the provisions within the office lease, there may be a number of options available to you.

You may be able to:

  • Negotiate termination with the Landlord
  • Terminate the lease under a break clause
  • Assign the lease to another Tenant
  • Sub-let the premises to another Tenant

ACTION: Contact a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer; let them have a copy of your current office lease and seek advice as to what options are available to you.

DURING THE OFFICE MOVE:  Ensuring your Commercial Interests are Safeguarded in the New Lease

Taking on a commercial lease is one of the biggest financial and operational commitments your business will undertake.  It is a legally binding document that imposes liabilities and obligations on both parties for the term of the lease.  It follows that failing to comply with your obligations at any stage of the term of the office lease may be costly for the Tenant and have legal, financial and operational consequences.

Tenants who do not seek professional legal advice expose themselves to considerable risk and costly operational consequences further down the line.

Before you sign anything, ask your Commercial Real Estate Lawyer to examine the commercial lease, highlight any areas of concern and identify any clauses that need to be either negotiated or clarified.

Ask a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer to examine the office lease and advise on the following:

  • Whether the length of the lease is appropriate for your business needs
  • Whether there are any options to break the lease and your entitlement to an extension of the lease on expiry
  • Full details of your expected costs (both fixed and variable) including Common Area Maintenance costs, property taxes, utilities, insurance, repairs etc.
  • The basis on which the rent can be changed
  • Your responsibilities for maintaining and repairing the premises
  • Whether all the things that are important to you and your business have been accurately reflected and documented in the lease.

Be sure to allow ample time for this negotiating process as several drafts of the commercial lease are likely to be exchanged. It is therefore recommended to engage a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer (one that specialises in representing Tenants) at the earliest possible stage.

ACTION: Do not attempt to negotiate your office lease without hiring specialist legal representation. It is business critical that you understand the implications of every term and condition, cost and liability so you know what you are committing to.

AFTER THE OFFICE MOVE:  Ongoing Legal Issues throughout the course of your Tenancy

Paying your rent on time and staying on good terms with your Landlord will generally help make any situation easier to handle and should allow you to enjoy your tenure and concentrate on what you do best – running your business.

However, once you have signed your commercial lease, there may be ongoing legal issues that arise during the course of your tenancy.  Should this happen, then arranging for a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer to liaise with the Landlord’s Attorney on your behalf will help get any issues resolved quickly – and without unnecessary disruption to your business.

Commercial Real Estate Lawyers are experienced at negotiating, drafting, and interpreting commercial office leases, and are a valuable resource for tenants renting office space … MAKE SURE YOU USE ONE!

Call OneSource today for all the details and moving assistance with office moving.