It’s in every landlords best interest to have a good relationship with their tenants, but in the case of a commercial property, how do you achieve that?
First of all make it a priority to get to know your tenants. Even if you have delegated a representative to showcase the property on your behalf, it’s always a good idea to meet future tenants in person and ask them questions, for example why they have decided not to renew their current lease and how long they occupied that property for. You can even dig deeper and ask questions about their previous landlord, and find out whether they were dissatisfied with the way certain things were handled. Getting to know your tenants will also make it easier for you to gather information about the nature of their business and to draw up a lease agreement in which the proposed business use of the property is clearly stated, preventing them from later changing it to a different use.
Finding out what their business is all about is important also because it helps you understand whether or not these tenants will be suitable to the surrounding area as well as to the building. This consideration is valid both in the case of single-use property, but especially in the case of a multi-use building, where the tenant-mix is of great importance.
As you draw up the lease also make sure you have a long-term plan for your commercial property. If, for example, you already know there will be no renewal offer at the end of the lease term, specify it, if not, the tenants may have the right to a new lease. Seek legal advice, structure your lease agreement correctly, and make sure everyone understands the conditions.
Once all this is taken care of and you have decided that these candidates are suitable tenants, start off on the right foot by getting the property cleaned and ready.
Repair any existing damage and ensure no health and safety issues have been overlooked, for example signs of mould, faulty fire equipment or broken emergency exit signs. Moving into a property that has been put back in shape and thoroughly cleaned will make sure the relationship starts off on the right foot.
Last, but not least, make sure your tenants stay happy by providing them with contact information that will make you accessible in the event of a complaint or a query. It is also ideal to advise the tenants what your expectations are for after hour emergencies.