Leasing a new office space can be an exciting venture in your path to success within your business. The feeling of having a space that you can call your own and personalize to your liking is incomparable to anything else in business. However, we can often get so wrapped up in the details and excitement that we sometimes forget to take certain safety precautions before signing the lease. Below are some recommendations that will ensure the safety of not only yourself, but your employees and clients as well.
ASSESS IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS
Being aware of your surroundings is of crucial importance when leasing a new office space. Familiarize yourself with everything within a two-block radius at minimum. Here are a few things to look for when assessing your immediate surroundings.
- Crime Rates and Statistics in the area
- Well-lit outer building and parking area
- Noisy or disruptive neighbors
- Make sure that your space is handicap accessible
CONSULT WITH A LOCKSMITH
No matter what measures that you as a business owner take to protect your office space as well as the employees and customers that will be entering, the efforts will be meaningless if the foundation can be easily compromised. Having a licensed locksmith ensure that all of the windows, doors, and AC units are properly secured is a priceless step that should be one of your first tasks.
Along with properly secured doors and windows, a solid security system should be put into place. There are many cases as to where a person may be working overtime or late on a project. Their safety needs to be considered while working alone in a building as well as walking to their vehicle alone, especially at night.
Structures can often seem normal or intact to the untrained eye, with no real knowledge of what lies underneath. Never take a landlord’s word about the condition of a building. Conduct your own inspections, preferably through a professional whenever possible. No amount of money is worth compromising your health and/or safety. A few things to check for are:
- Weak Foundations
- Mold (Very harmful to one’s health)
- Leaky Faucets and Pipes (Can cause extreme damage and ruin to the contents in your office).
- Signs of Infestations (mice, rats, termites, etc.)
READ THE LEASE CAREFULLY
It is important to go through the entire lease with a fine-tooth comb. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a leasing agent or your lawyer to take a look at the lease with you. Whatever the case, a person that is extremely familiar with leasing jargon needs to overlook the lease before it is signed. You need to be clear on what the landlord is responsible for versus what the tenant is responsible for as far as utility and repair costs. Also familiarize yourself with what actions would be considered as grounds for termination of the lease.
INVESTIGATE THE LANDLORD
Keep in mind that this is the person who you will have to deal with for the duration of your lease. Take precautions to make sure that they are reputable and honest. Conduct backgrounds checks, reference checks, search for any complaints of fraud, and even consult with current and former tenants if you are comfortable with doing so. Also, if they are leasing out spaces under a business name, look into checking on their status with the Better Business Bureau.
The suggestions mentioned above may seem like a lot of precautions to take in the beginning. But remember, getting these precautions out of the way prior to signing the lease will ensure your comfort and safety in the future. You will potentially eliminate a great deal of hassle and costs in the long run. The quicker that you utilize these safety tips while leasing a new office space, the sooner you can get to making money.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2