If you find yourself looking for commercial warehousing space you may not know where to turn. Leasing a warehouse is a lot different from leasing or renting other kinds of real estate. Regardless of the reasons you need the space, here are some tips to make the process of leasing a warehouse easier.
Make sure you are clear on what is and is not included in your rent.
Renting a warehouse is not the same as renting an apartment. Some things that are expected in residential real estate such as roof repairs (when they are needed) can be excluded from the general operating costs when you talk about leasing a warehouse. A reputable leasing company will be transparent in this area. If you have trouble getting information or are not clear on what will be covered, you should find another commercial property.
Work out your HVAC needs.
Many warehouses do not have heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) service for the entire space they way the office buildings do. You may find that you do not need it but if you do, you need to work out the arrangements for this in advance. You may find that the company or individual who leased the space before you needed it and had a system installed.
If commercial warehouse has an HVAC unit, you should have it inspected before you assume it works. You have no way of knowing how it was maintained. If it has not been maintained or needs to be totally replaced, you should negotiate with the landlord. Before you sign a lease, this needs to be worked out.
Will you be able to expand?
If your business takes off and you need more space than you do when you start leasing a warehouse, will you be able to expand at this location? There might be spaces in the complex or you may even be able to rent the spaces that are directly adjacent to the warehouse that you want to rent. Ask if any of the businesses around the unit you are interested have that option for your space.
How much space is included?
Different commercial leasing companies determine the square footage of their spaces different ways. In a perfect world, for you, you will only pay for the space that you can actually use. Unfortunately, many commercial leasing companies measure the space by what is occupied. Ask if they measure from the inside or outside of the walls. You want them to measure only from inside but they get more money when they measure from outside. You should also ask about the general maintenance of the warehouse.
Who will handle the parking lot maintenance?
Your parking lot is often the first thing your customers will see and they may judge you on that. If you do not expect to have anyone come out, this may not be as important to you. Regardless of how much you care about the appearance of your parking lot, you still need to make sure it is maintained. It is in the best interest of the owner of the property to keep the parking lot maintained so it should be the landlord’s responsibility to pay for this.
Check the zoning.
Ask the leasing company about how the area is zoned. If you are looking at commercial leases, you need to find a property that is zoned for what you need to use it for. If you think you can run a retail business from a space that is zoned for storage, you are only asking for trouble.
Does the space have the power you need?
If you are leasing a warehouse for storage, you may not need as much power as if you are using it for other things. Ask about the electrical power in the warehouse. You should have an electrical engineer come in and look at the power situation for the warehouse you are going to rent. You need to know that your space has everything you need to take care of your business in the warehouse.
Leasing a warehouse is different from renting an office space or any kind of residential real estate. If you do your research and ask the right questions, you will get what you need.
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