Strategic change and fast expansion can catch businesses by storm at times, causing a shift in the services offered since your company first took up the lease of your rented office. This can modify your company’s office space requirements overtime, however in some cases these changes were needed from the start.
Once the new specifications have been outlined, your company should check carefully which alterations are allowed according to the lease agreement. It may be a matter of a basic office refurbishment or a bigger implementation including structural work, affecting the use of the premises.
Businesses are often legally entitled to make a certain degree of changes to their rented offices, however it is common practice to inform the landlord about any planned modifications.
Whether you are planning to implement your brand colours on the walls or are thinking about hanging up your business awards, we strongly recommend you discuss your plans with your landlord. This will not only be an opportunity to clarify the terms of your lease agreement but will also be an important safety precaution. Drilling without having a map of your office rental wiring may prove expensive if you drill into a water pipe by accident.
If your contract states that there are limitations to where you can decorate, do not despair, there are endless options to incorporate your brand and colour scheme around the workplace. Office furniture,desk partitions, mugs, and roller banners can all add a splash of colour while also reinforcing your brand identity.
If your office space needs the modifications required by law to accommodate disabled employees, we strongly recommend you to seek written permission from your landlord before undergoing any works. If your landlord doesn’t approve the changes, addressing a professional body representing tenants is usually the best solution. This will ensure that your issue is dealt with in a diplomatic manner while following the legal guidelines.
Your company, as the tenant, is responsible for any repairs made on the premises if your lease stipulates:“full repair and insuring lease”. The amount of rent you pay normally reflects this clause. There are exceptions of course depending on the state and type of the building. Tenants are required to leave the office space in good condition upon expiration of their tenancy agreement.
Business owners are responsible for their employees’ safety. That’s why it is upon them to regularly test the offices’ fire alarm. We always recommend that when moving into new premises, our clients carry out a fire safety check of the whole building, including evacuation procedures, with their landlord and perhaps also with a private company.
Change of Use and structural works
In case your business has gone through a complete change, you may want to check if your company still conforms to the business activities that are allowed on the property because it is possible that you won’t be allowed to operate from there. If that’s the case,your business will have to make the necessary changes to operate from the premises and that may include the need for planning permission.
When our clients present their landlord with plans for modifying the building, we advise the inclusion of a scope of the works, costs forecasts, and visual plans of the project. Doing so will increase their chances of obtaining the landlord’s agreement.
Similarly, we stress the importance of the company’s responsibility for health and safety standards compliance when carrying out structural works in their offices.
In conclusion, our best recommendation when looking at commercial property to rent, is to seek professional advice before signing the lease agreement. The complexity of the document may imply that some aspects can be overlooked and might become the basis for dispute at a later date.