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10 Insider Tips On How To Negotiate The Rent That You Need

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Negotiate Rent For Your NYC Office Space

Choosing a new office space in NYC is exciting and challenging. It’s hard to imagine your business functioning within the blank walls of an office. Yet this is where your business is going to grow and thrive. One of the most important parts of choosing a new office is the ability to negotiate the terms of your lease with the landlord. Negotiating terms advantageously could mean saving money on rent that you can use in other aspects of your business.

It’s important to wisely negotiate your terms for a happy tenant and landlord relationship down the road.


Square Footage

Before making any decisions or signing any documents, make sure you find out how much square footage you’re getting and if it’s at the right price. You also need to ensure that the landlord or real estate agent isn’t doing anything sneaky.

Find out how much usable space you’re getting in your unit. Your prospective landlord might bundle the amount of square footage that’s included in common areas into your square footage when trying to sell you on a space.

Check the fine print to make sure your square footage is for your unit alone. You’ll also want to make sure that you have enough space that will allow your business to grow in the future.


Lease Terms

How long do you plan on staying at your desired rental space? If you allow yourself to think big, you could save some big money. Signing a longer lease can generally get you deals that you normally wouldn’t be able to score.

Landlords love giving deals to tenants who sign longer leases. The longer the lease you’re willing to sign, the more wiggle room you’ll have with price, usage, square footage and subletting.


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Office Space Use

Try to negotiate the terms of the office space to include everything you want to do in your space. Sometimes leases limit the types of use and types of business you can run in your rental. Consider how your business might grow in the future before you question this. Will you need the space to fill needs that you haven’t thought of yet?
Tell the landlord that you want to negotiate the terms to allow for the growth of your business in the future.


Landlord Services

What services does your prospective landlord supply? Does it supply electrical, HVAC and plumbing maintenance? Does it provide garbage, water and heat utilities?

Negotiating how much money you’ll need to invest in your space in the future could save you a lot of money in the long run. Try to get your landlord to offer as many services as possible, so you don’t need to spend money on them later in your rental period.


Rent Increases

How much will your landlord raise your rent over the terms of your lease? Sometimes landlords have the power to increase rents by a certain amount. How much will your landlord increase your rent after your lease is up? You don’t want to worry about finding a new space in a few months or a few years if your business is thriving in the space you have.

You also want to inquire about deals. Sometimes landlords will offer a signing bonus, and you could walk away with your first month or two of rent paid for by your landlord.


Subletting

Are you allowed to sublet your space or part of your space to another party? If you want to invite a third party into your business, make sure that you are allowed to rent even part of your office space.

Also, consider how you will survive if you decide your business needs to move before your lease is up. If you can’t sublet your space to another party, how will you pay your rent in this space while paying rent in another space? Subletting your unit will give you the flexibility you need to thrive in the future.


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Who pays for repairs in your unit? Try to negotiate your landlord dealing with as many repairs as possible. You can save an incredible amount of money by letting them absorb the cost of repairs.

Think about how much money you need to invest in your car and home repairs on a monthly basis. Now think about what that kind of expense could do to your business.


Upgrades and Redesigns

Most business rental units don’t come ready to for business. You’ll probably need to spend some money adding facades to the walls and installing fixtures to make your space workable. Sometimes landlords include clauses in their leases that can delay this process.

You’ll want to make sure that you will be able to make as many changes as you’d like without huge delays. Ask for a clause that will allow you to make changes without your landlord’s consent. If that doesn’t work, try asking for a clause that you can make reasonable changes as long as your landlord approves. Also, add a clause that demands that your landlord approves all changes in a timely manner.


Additional Office Space

Ask for a clause that gives you the right to additional space when the time arises. Ask your landlord to give you preferential treatment over spaces that can help you expand your business. You never know when you’re going to outgrow your current space.

Additional space can help you avoid moving costs down the road and keep you in a happy relationship with your landlord.


Renewing Your Lease

Ask your landlord to agree on a fixed price in which to renew your lease. You don’t want to end up wanting to renew your lease later if the lease jumps up in price. This can lead to unexpected moving costs should you not be able to afford your new lease.

Negotiating a lease can be hard work. It’s tempting to want to agree to the terms the landlord sets without trying to negotiate further, but becoming a good negotiator can save time and money and give you greater satisfaction.


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About The Author
Jack Cohen

Jack Cohen has over 15 years of industry experience developing and implementing real estate strategies for clients in Manhattan and throughout the United States. Prior to founding Spaces Commercial Real Estate, Jack was a Managing Director at Colliers International for 3 years and a Director at Cushman & Wakefield for 9 years. Jack’s forward thinking has engineered some of Manhattan’s most unique and difficult deals including the repositioning and leasing of 636 11th Avenue, a 564,000 RSF warehouse to office conversion, which was awarded real estates highest honor- REBNY’s Henry Hart Rice Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award. Jack is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Business where he majored in Economics and Business Management. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, the executive committee of American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and the Board of Education of Keter Torah, his childrens’ school. Jack lives on the Jersey Shore with his wife and three children.