A com­pre­hen­sive wa­ter-tight lease is good for re­la­tions with ten­ants

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY - SATUR­DAY

also has a re­spon­si­bil­ity – to en­sure the terms are fair and com­pli­ant with the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act.

Com­mer­cial prop­erty con­sul­tancy Galetti Knight Frank be­lieves the process be­gins with match­ing ap­pro­pri­ate land­lords with ten­ants.

Co-founder and joint chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Galetti says: “It makes good busi­ness sense to nur­ture trust­wor­thy re­la­tion- ships with land­lords and ten­ants, so we go to great lengths to help both par­ties meet their ob­jec­tives.”

Galetti sug­gests a num­ber of tips to help ease the process and en­sure a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial out­come.

● En­sure time is on your side: com­mer­cial ten­ants ob­vi­ously need to en­sure it’s busi­ness as usual to avoid fi­nan­cial loss, so mak­ing early en­quiries about lease re­newals with a land­lord is highly rec­om­mended. Ten­ants are in a far stronger po­si­tion to ne­go­ti­ate if they have al­lowed for enough time be­fore the agree­ment ex­pires.

● Do your home­work: the of­fice space rental mar­ket has been flat for two years, so ten­ants are ad­vised to com­pare rentals across dif­fer­ent ar­eas and have a ba­sic idea of mar­ket con­di­tions stan­dards.

● Be above board: be­ing fair and rea­son­able in the terms of the lease is ad­vis­able and sets a tone of mu­tual re­spect be­tween land­lord and ten­ant.

Thanks to the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, which also cov­ers lease agree­ments, land­lords are re­quired to be fair and rea­son­able.

The act ap­plies to all com-


in­dus­try mer­cial leases en­tered into with nat­u­ral per­sons as well as ju­ris­tic per­sons with an an­nual turnover or as­set value of less than R2 mil­lion.

● Have a plan: it makes sense to for­mu­late a long-term plan you can re­vert to. For a land­lord this means, for ex­am­ple, not los­ing sight of plans to ren­o­vate or ex­pand.

A plan will en­able ten­ants to as­sess whether the space will meet the needs of their busi­ness over time, such as whether it pro­vides suit­able ameni­ties for em­ploy­ees or ad­e­quate tech­ni­cal in­fra­struc­ture.

“Us­ing cred­i­ble prop­erty bro­kers with re­gional ex­per­tise will be enor­mously help­ful in this process,” says Galetti.

“Their knowl­edge of the mar­ket and their abil­ity to nav­i­gate through the many ne­go­ti­a­tions will go a long way to­wards a suc­cess­ful con­clu­sion for land­lord and ten­ant. Find­ing good land­lords and good ten­ants isn’t nec­es­sar­ily an easy task and many peo­ple can at­test to hav­ing had a bad ex­pe­ri­ences.

“Like any re­la­tion­ship, there are peo­ple who are far more likely to en­ter­tain com­pro­mise, and oth­ers who won’t.

“But en­gag­ing a bro­ker who re­ally un­der­stands your busi­ness ob­jec­tives and spe­cific sit­u­a­tion should add value and en­sure a suc­cess­ful ne­go­ti­a­tion.”

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