Here we go over the process of locating potential warehousing for your company, and checking that it meets the needs of your business. If you have never leased an industrial unit before this article contains some vital facts that you are probably not aware of.
Know your budget and shop around
Industrial space is usually far cheaper to lease than other types of commercial property. However, it is still a big business expense, so it is important to compare deals and to stay within your budget.
Understand the lease
Most leases for industrial space are long and complicated. If you have never leased this type of space before it is important to go over the details with your lawyer.
The lease is a legally binding document, so you really need to be sure you understand it before you sign it. Try not to assume things. Commercial leases are very different from residential rent contracts, so the inexperienced can easily miss or misunderstand things.
Know your responsibilities
For example, it often comes as a surprise to people that they, the tenant, are responsible for some aspects of maintaining the building. Understandably, they assume that it is the landlord’s responsibility as it would be if they leased office space or a residential property. You need to look for the maintenance and repair clause and understand what it says.
Consider what happens in exceptional circumstances
If possible, you want to stay in those business premises for as long as you can. Moving is expensive, especially if you have a lot of stock, equipment or plant that you have to take with you.
It is far better to look at the industrial unit you are leasing as your long-term home than it is to assume that you can easily move a few years down the line. Therefore, you need to cover all of the bases before signing the contract.
Find out what would happen if you needed more or less space. For example, can you sub-let?
Also, check what would happen if the premises were suddenly rendered unusable, e.g. because of a flood or fire. These details should be included in the damage and destruction clause.
Can you afford the space?
Understandably, most firms want to base themselves in city locations. Doing so gives them easy access to a large customer base, a qualified workforce, and a good transport network. These are big advantages for any business.
However, usually the cost of industrial units to let in London, and other big cities, is higher than it is in smaller towns. You need to ask yourself whether the cost of leasing space in a city location is worthwhile. For many businesses, the answer will be yes. They will make extra sales from being centrally located and close to a big pool of potential customers. For others leasing space in the suburbs actually makes more sense from a return on investment point of view.
As you can see, leasing industrial premises is not a simple process. Therefore, it makes sense to get advice before going out and renting your first warehouse, factory or workshop.