Commercial real estate in Highveld as an investment can provide great returns, but it can also cause some serious headaches if you do not do your homework and go into the deal with your eyes wide open. Commercial property can include residential multiplexes and apartment complexes as well as more traditional business and warehouse buildings. Whether you are buying commercial real estate for profit or simply to house your own company, before you buy you should do all you can to avoid the following common pitfalls.
Have a Thorough Title Search of [tag]
Before making any commercial real estate lease, whether it is residential or commercial it is essential to get a complete title search to identify any liens or other problems with the title. The [tag] is basically the history of the deed changing hands and whether or not there are any unresolved claims to the deed by previous lenders or contractors.
Renting a warehouse (or a portion of a warehouse) on a contract basis may be the best choice for your storage needs. Contract warehouses are perfect for storing large items or a considerable number of items, especially those that will need to be protected. Normal storage facilities can’t offer the protection and the amount of space that a warehouse can provide. You can rent warehouse space or commercial property for short-term storage needs, or for long-term storage and distribution.
Renting warehouse space on a short-term basis is perfect for when you are trying to get your small business off the ground. You know you’ll need a place to store and distribute items, and using your basement or garage just isn’t going to cut it. A small business won’t need the vast amount of space of an entire warehouse, and conversely, will need more space than what a household garage can provide.
How Do you Select the Best Commercial Property for in Highveld?
Trying to understand commercial property lease terms can seem like navigating a mine field - there is plenty of new terminology and industry jargon to comprehend. When it comes to negotiating, some landlords may try to pass off a lease document as "a standard lease" that all tenants must sign. In many instances, unknowledgeable tenants could end up agreeing to terms that are less than favourable - which are in fact not standard policy. Be wary of the following clauses:
- Early Termination - this clause often allows landlords to terminate the lease early and reasons for the early termination may or may not be given. Resist the inclusion of such clauses in your negotiations.
- Default - be wary of onerous clauses that allow a landlord to evict a tenant if the rent has not been paid within a week of the due date. While it may seem standard, it is more typical for leases to stipulate written notice be given to tenants at least 14 days before any consequences are enacted. Negotiate for required written notice in the case of default.
- Redevelopment - try to avoid redevelopment clauses that allow a landlord to terminate the lease in order to redevelop or renovate the premises.
- Indemnity - be aware of indemnity clauses that indemnify the landlord against claims for loss or accidental damage by the landlord. Be sure to check your insurance policy to see if an indemnity clause on your commercial property could violate your policy.
- Handover dates - the handover date is the date the premises are turned over to the tenant to begin the installation of fit-outs, before the fixed commencement date of the lease. Avoid leases that allow a landlord to alter the handover date without compensation - as you could find yourself incurring substantial costs if you are delayed or caught unprepared for fit-out construction.
- Make good - a make good clause generally requires the tenant to leave the premises in good condition upon departure. This usually includes the removal of any fit-outs that were installed by the tenant during the term. If your premises come installed with fit-outs, negotiate to alter the "make good" clause to a general expectation to leave the premises in good condition and repair.
There are plenty of other clauses and terms that can be negotiated - from who is responsible for whose legal fees as well as any upkeep, repair and maintenance costs. Many businesses will find that they have much more success negotiating lease terms to help reduce their costs rather than trying to get a landlord to come down on price. A tenant broker service can help with the lease "legalese" - they'll help you get a better understanding of what your options are.
What Do You Look Out For in a Commercial Real Estate Lease?
If you are gearing up for a big move or if you want to remove some of the clutter from your home, basement or attic, consider renting warehouse space. Renting a warehouse will give you an offsite location to safely store your items that is climate controlled and secure.
Before you sign the lease on the warehouse space you'll need to visit the facility to inspect the premises first hand. You'll need to be comfortable with where your valuables will be stored, and you'll need to make sure the warehouse is clean and have proper security systems. You may also want to check to see how your items will be stored while in the warehouse. Will they be on pallet racks or shelves? Will there be secure wooden containers for loose items? How do warehouse employees handle the items? Warehouse management may require employees to move items to allow access to other items, so be sure to watch them while at work to see how carefully they operate warehouse machinery.
Many warehouse facilities offer add-on features to renting space. You may wish to purchase insurance, or it may be offered to you as part of your rental fee. Many warehouses also have bathrooms, showers and offices available for those who need to work or are storing goods that are constantly being shipped. For storing your personal possessions, however, you'll probably want to insure your items and make sure they will be stored in a safe and secure manner until you need to retrieve them.
Finding the Right Warehouse Space to Rent
If you ask any banker, he'll tell you that anything over 4 units is considered a commercial property. If you ask any municipality regarding their trash pick up, you'll get the same answer, ditto with insurance companies but are apartments really commercial properties?
When you think of commercial property, do you think of tall skyscrapers, office buildings and warehouses...and possible large apartment complexes?
Well, apartments over 4 units are commercial properties but there is one big difference between apartments and offices. One space is occupied by residents and the other spaces are occupied by businesses.
That's a big difference! Did you know the 3 out of 4 businesses go out of business after the first year? Ninety percent are out of business by year five! If your renting to businesses, chances are, your turnover rate is going to be higher than a residential property and you should know that tenant turnover is your biggest expense in any multi-unit property.
There is one other thing you should consider, when you're attracting a commercial tenant for your property, you usually agree to do a "build-out" which means you change the space to make it conform to the business. This could cost you thousands of dollars.
With an apartment unit, the "make ready" usually consist of paint and carpet. If more is needed, it's usually paid for from the previous tenants security deposit.
Yes, apartments over four units are considered commercial properties but as you can see, they are in a class by themselves when you compare risk versus reward.
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