When you negotiate a lease in commercial or retail property management, the next stage of the process will be moving the tenant into the property.
Uncontrolled tenant movement creates chaos, and can potentially disrupt other tenants in the tenant mix. Professionalism is required of the leasing manager and the property manager as they move the tenant into the property.
Whilst every property will be special and unique you should establish a checklist to help you stay on track. This becomes even more important when you manage lots of properties at the same time or perhaps a project leasing type appointment where many tenants are entering the property at one time. Control is the key to moving a tenant into the property.
An Essential Tenant Move-in Checklist
Here are some tips to help you create your checklist. The items are in no particular order as every property is different; however, these are some of the main items to have on your checklist:
- Landlord works on the premises should have been completed prior to the tenant moving in. This will help streamline the tenant fit-out activity.
- Cleaning of the premises should have been done after landlord works and before the tenant takes over the premises. The initial clean would be at the cost of the landlord.
- Energy in the premises will become the responsibility of the tenant from the start of occupancy. Make sure that this process of a power supply and billing has occurred.
- Fit out approvals will be required to be sought from the landlord first and the local building authority second. Most internal fit outs still require the constructional approvals of the planning authority. The approvals have to be obtained before any works commence on the fit out.
- Specifications of finishes and fittings will be required to control the tenant and the end result fit-out design and presentation. Specifications will include things such as carpet, paint, signage, electrical connections, communication systems, plumbing and access points for all of these. The as-built drawings for the property will help you greatly here.
- Security systems and access to premises will need to be arranged. If the building has a computer-based security system, codes and cards will normally be supplied to the tenant. In most cases, these should be signed for as well as the keys to the premises.
- A condition report for the premises should be taken and records kept. You do not want any disagreements later with the tenant regards the condition of the premises.
- The deposit should be paid by the tenant as part of lease acceptance and signing. Ensure that the deposit has been cleared through the banking system.
- Guarantees are usually taken as part of the lease process. The best guarantees are usually cash or bank guarantees. Director’s guarantees taken can be a waste of time.
- The lease should be signed and checked as part of the preparation for tenant entry. The landlord should sign the lease after the tenant.
- The directory board on the property should be modified for the entry of the tenant to the property. The signage for the tenant should also be approved prior to placement.
- Local council and building approvals should be obtained by the tenant prior to any commencement of fit out construction works.
- The permitted use for the premises will be established in the lease document. It is also likely that the permitted use has relevance to the current council planning regulations.
It is likely that you can add to this list based on the requirements of the property and the location. Importantly, you will have established a checklist to move tenants into your leased properties. The checklists can help you avoid disagreements and disruptions as part of the leasing process.