Of all the things you spend money on in a business, property is probably number one in terms of the liability and the amount you spend – particularly if you are in the hospitality sector. For this reason, it is essential you do all of your due diligence when acquiring one, whether it is to rent or buy. Different businesses will have different needs e.g. a hospitality business will be bothered about location and size, it will need to be in an area with good footfall and be capable of attracting vast amounts of customers in every day. Offices on the other hand will be happy to be on the 20th floor of a skyscraper with good meeting space and most importantly, good security. There has been a huge increase in the number of office robberies in the UK’s largest cities like Manchester and London in recent years and therefore a secure office is essential.
Buildings take a very different approach to security, some but the onus on the tenant at the point of entry to their office and others have fully manned receptions and security 24 hours a day with gates to enter the building. Consult with commercial estate agents to find out which buildings employ the kind of security you require. Digital companies in particular do tend to be targeted more as they will have higher end computers for design and web/app development.
Aside from location and security, the most important things to look at are the fees, typically depending on the type of building you are going in to you will have rent, service charge and then your business rates. It is important to budget for all of these, particularly business rates as this is something businesses often overlook when costing a property. Service charges will only be applicable if you are in a building with shared communal areas/services.
One final thing to consider is how the impact of a second wave of Coronavirus could affect you so we’d recommend getting clauses put it that say in the event of a lockdown your rent will be reduced by 50%, landlords are tending to give this option now as they’d rather have somebody in their space paying 50% than have it empty. This is for both security and financial reasons. The chances of another nationwide lockdown are low but there is the possibility of local lockdowns for the foreseeable future as is currently happening in Greater Manchester.