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Whether you’re moving out of your home office or your expanding team is growing out of its current office, it’s important to find a suitable space that meets your business needs. Knowing what questions to ask when viewing a commercial property is crucial for evaluating your options thoroughly when looking at several different spaces. You also want to know exactly what you’re getting into before moving into a space that won’t accommodate your business.

Here are some important questions to ask your commercial real estate agent when you’re viewing a potential property:

What type of commercial lease is being offered?

Knowing what type of commercial lease is being offered is one of the most important items to consider when looking at properties for your new office space. The type of lease determines how your rent bill will be calculated. Ask to see a sample copy of the property’s lease to review it yourself.

What is the minimum lease term?

A lease term length can be a decisive factor in your property search. Typically, commercial properties offer lease contracts with a minimum term length of at least a year. Many contracts require a 3 to 5 year commitment. Longer terms can be restrictive, while shorter terms allow you to be more flexible if you don’t want to be tied down to a property for a certain amount of time. However, long-term contracts give you more negotiating leverage and security with predictable rental costs.

What amenities are included?

This is one of the most essential questions to ask when leasing office space. Understand what building services are included in your monthly rent, such as repairs and maintenance, cleaning assistance, electricity, heating and air conditioning. These additional costs can have a huge impact on your decision, especially if you’re on a strict budget.

What insurance coverage is required?

Often times, commercial landlords require a certain level of insurance coverage. Be sure to ask what type and amount of insurance coverage is required by the lease, as it may add a costly fixed expense.

How much parking is allotted to the renter?

If you have multiple employees, you’ll want to make sure you have enough parking for everyone. It’s best to find out the parking situation when you’re viewing a corporate rental space to understand how that will affect your team.

Is there room for expansion?

If you plan to expand your team or services in the future at the same location, be sure to ask about what available space is offered in or near the building.

Can you make changes to the office space layout?

Before signing a lease on a commercial building that you plan to rearrange, it’s best to ask whether or not that is acceptable. Some building owners may require that you leave the building layout the way it is or optimize the space within their guidelines.