How to Accurately Use a Critical Date File in Commercial Property Management

In commercial or retail property management and leasing, the critical date file is one of the most important documents you will have within your property management system.  The purpose of the critical date file is to help you and or the landlord to efficiently track and monitor activities within the tenancy mix and the leasing profiles; most particularly those are the issues that will have an impact on property performance, investment, and the asset.

When you make mistakes with or overlook a critical date you can risk the property cash flow, occupancy or tenant mix.  Diligence is something that cannot be overstated with the keeping and tracking of these important dates.

The Basic Lease Facts

Here are some of the important issues to track within your critical date file:

  1. Tenants name – make sure that the tenants name agrees with the name on the lease document. Over the term of lease, you will find that the house of the tenant could change in some way or form.  Always update the critical date file and the tenancy schedule.
  2. Contact detail – your records should be up to date when it comes to contacting the tenant at any time and for any reason. You should have a number of different methods of tenant contact so that you can cover standard issues of occupancy, and also emergency responses.
  3. Accessibility – the contact list for a property should be easily accessible both in the office and remotely. Invariably property issues and challenges happen at any time, and on that basis requiring a response from the property management team.  You need to get to your contact list in a convenient and direct way with any property event.  You need to know how to contact the tenant at any time.
  4. Rental change dates – over the term of the lease, there will be certain times where the dates within the lease will impact rental, rent reviews, lease incentives, and negotiations. Those dates need to be tracked well in advance.
  5. The lease expiry dates – each individual lease will have a set of dates relating to options, expires, and points of negotiation. All of those dates should be loaded to the critical date file and or calendar diary process.  All of those dates should be actioned well in advance and tracked for the opportunity that they provide.
  6. Specific events – certain things will go wrong or change within a lease or a tenancy mix. Those specific things should be tracked and the events recorded.  Factors of negotiation, risk, and liability are some of the important things to put within your lease and tenancy tracking system.  Some of those issues will generate their own critical dates.

So these are the basic rules that apply to establishing a critical date file.  You can add to the list based on your property type and location.

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