How are you feeling about your business premises for the coming 12 months? If you’re rapidly expanding or pivoting into a new offering and your lease expires or you have a break clause option in the near future, you may be considering whether to stay or go. You may even be considering relocation to benefit your staff or improve your recruitment opportunities. Before you decide to serve notice and find new premises better suited to your needs, a pros and cons list could be helpful, but here’s another option you could consider: staying doesn’t have to be the lesser of two evils!
As part of your consideration process, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How is the premises currently delivering value for the business?
- How could it better serve the needs of the business?
- Are there any shortcomings we’d like to change if we could?
- How far away is your upcoming break clause or lease expiry date?
It might very well be that there are ways your existing premises could serve you better, with a change in your lease terms. Many of my clients don’t realise that a future break clause or lease expiry is not just a done deal, it can be an ideal point in time to initiate negotiation on these terms.
So how do you go about this?
- Firstly, remember that you are in just as much of a position of power as your landlord! At the end of the day, your landlord probably won’t be best pleased with the thought of having to go out to find a new tenant, with all the associated cost, risk and uncertainty, if you leave. However, you do need to be willing to follow through and leave, if you don’t get what you want.
- Secondly, you can use this position to your advantage! Offer your landlord a choice: you’d rather stay than serve notice, but here’s a list of terms you’d like to amend in order to commit. Remind them: in return, you don’t need to find a new occupier.
- Thirdly, consider the timing of your approach. You need to present your requests in a competent, clear and well-argued way and give your landlord plenty of time to review them. You also need to have enough time yourself, to go and search in the market for alternative premises, in order to be credible and in case the answer is no!
Remember: you are in a position of power so long as you educate yourself. If you decide to serve notice to send a message that you’re unhappy with your terms, the landlord could still tear it up and decide to enter a negotiation with you. Be prepared to put your money where your mouth is – the risks may very well outweigh the rewards.
Want to know more or talk through your situation?
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