You need to move commercial premises in Hertfordshire, but there’s so much to think about! Here’s a checklist of things you may not have considered for your move, once you’ve found the right commercial property for you. These will help you keep your property costs as low as possible, making sure your business is sustainable.
- If you are moving out of old premises, have you given the right amount of notice? This will depend on the type of agreement you have with the landlord, so always check to make sure you don’t end up paying rent for longer than you want to. It won’t always be spelt out in the agreement so you may need professional advice from a surveyor or solicitor.
- Do you need to do any repairs or redecoration to the existing property before you leave under the terms of your lease or licence? If so, leave plenty of time to do that. Otherwise the landlord could do the repairs himself and you could get an unexpected bill you haven’t budgeted for.
- Have you arranged disconnection of old services/closure of accounts?
- Business rates – make sure you give the council notice that you are vacating the old premises.
- Check what the new business rates payable will be and take advice from a surveyor on whether you can do anything to reduce them.
- If you need to do any fitting out to your new premises make sure these are allowed by the landlord before doing anything. You may need to get them formally documented, especially if you are entering into a lease. If you don’t, the landlord could ask you to remove any alterations you’ve made, or the rent could be increased at the next rent review or lease renewal, meaning you pay twice; once to carry out the works and twice because the landlord can charge rent on it.
- If you are relocating, ideally you want an overlap in time so that you can move into the new property and do all the fitting out before leaving the other premises, or at least negotiate a rent free period in your lease so that you don’t have to pay rent until you are ready to occupy and trade.
- Have you worked out your space planning and ordered any furniture?
- Do you need any trading or Health and Safety licences for the property? Make sure you apply for any of these well in advance as you may need to have the building assessed, or make changes to it before you get consent.
- Have you got planning permission either for a change of use or if you need to do certain alterations? Don’t leave yourself at risk of not having the right consent and then possibly having an enforcement notice served on you.
- Make sure you have ordered new utility and broadband connections. Some have a lead in of several weeks so you don’t want to be left without any services.
- Don’t forget to order new stationery/signage and update all your social media and online information with your new details, get your post redirected, and finally… Book your removal company!
Kirsty is the founder and a Director of KTD Surveying, a property consultancy that negotiates all aspects of commercial property leases and rental valuations. She advises a range of businesses to make sure that surveying services are accessible to all, such as finding the first premises for a start-up company, negotiating service charge disputes for a residential developer, or negotiating rent reviews and lease renewals for office and retail tenants.
If you would like help with any of the negotiations, please call Kirsty for a chat on 01462 820092.