The hours you spend pacing the floor, waiting for a family member’s first child to be born; the minutes you spend waiting for your computer to boot up; and the seconds you wait for a text message; each of these intervals remind you of that inescapable truth – timing is everything.
Did you know that timing is equally important in the life span of your building lease? Pay close attention to the date your lease officially begins. It may not be the date you sign the document. You may allow a month’s grace for move-in, you might negotiate a lower price during build out with the official lease beginning at move-in. Anything can be negotiated.
If you have a renewal option at the end of your lease, you are best advised to open negotiations six months to a year in advance of the expiration date. Your options are better when you have time left on your lease. Delay at your financial peril. If you stay beyond the terms of the lease you could be stuck paying a month to month cost considerably higher. Don’t press your luck. Most landlords charge 25- to 100 percent more on a month-to-month clause.
Even if you are happy with the building and the amenities, you may still conduct a site search, starting a year in advance of real need. You don’t know what is out there in terms of access, parking and sound-proofing. You could find a landlord who would install an elevator or stairs when you rent multiple floors.
Once you land a property, you need a certificate of occupancy from the city where your business will reside, whether Troy, Taylor or Windsor. But bureaucracy isn’t what it used to be.
City Hall is operating on a much-reduced budget – in almost every city in North America. Consider it may take two months for a city inspection and a few weeks to satisfy any problems that arise before you can move in.
Then too, the new build-out may take two or three months because the sought-after contractors are working with a minimal staff. If you ask them to rush the job you could find yourself paying high fees for overtime, or get shoddy work. You need to get on the moving company’s roster early to assure your time is slotted.
If you wind up staying put, you may negotiate a better lease when time is at your advantage. You can research other buildings and present your landlord with hard evidence of why a rent reduction is practical. But don’t become a slave to the ever-ticking clock and miss the adventure of negotiating prices and evaluating properties. As James Cash Penney said, “Clock watchers never seem to be having a good time.”