If you’ve never owned property before, getting your first commercial property can seem a bit overwhelming. Even if you already have residential property, commercial property is very different and there are a number of additional complications, especially where tenant leases are concerned.
Here are a few tips that can benefit first time commercial property owners and help them avoid some of the common pitfalls of property ownership.
- Hire a great property manager. If you’re overwhelmed at the thought of dealing with tenants, advertising, maintenance and all the other inevitable stresses of running a commercial property, outsource to a professional. A property manager will keep things running smoothly for you and avoid legal headaches.
- Get everyone to sign a lease. A lease is your best protection against tenants not paying rent, damaging your property or behaving in an otherwise unacceptable manner. By ensuring everyone signs a lease you’ll be protecting your business and your other tenants and you will have some legal standing in the event of a dispute.
- Be proactive about maintenance. Don’t wait until there’s a problem to go to your property or get someone to check it over. Create a proactive maintenance schedule and you’ll keep on top of all those little tasks so they don’t get out of control and become big, expensive ones. A well maintained property is more attractive and appealing to future tenants as well.
- Keep records of maintenance. A maintenance log is a good tool to help you keep track of what has and hasn’t been done, and over time you can build up a good picture of your regular and ongoing costs. A maintenance log is also important in the event of a tenant complaint or if someone is injured on the property as it can prove that you have fulfilled your obligations as a landlord (or not!).
As a first time commercial property owner it’s important to get experienced professional advice and learn as much as you can about the industry. Many commercial landlords use a property manager to look after their property, even those who have years of experience in the industry. A property manager can guide you in the right direction, manage your tenants and make sure maintenance is carried out quickly and to a high standard.