The past few months had seen the rapid and aggressive spread of the novel coronavirus around the world. The global pandemic has forced people into their homes and away from their businesses. More than half the world's population comes under travel bans, curfews, and restrictions. Most companies have had to shut their doors and ask employees to work from home. In the US alone, over 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment within a week. During such times, most companies are trying to cut their costs, and one way to do that is by renegotiating the lease on your company's commercial space. Here's a look at how the current situation has forced people to negotiate the rental contracts for their commercial and retail spaces.
Why Renegotiate Your Lease
The COVID-19 pandemic isn't the only reason you should renegotiate your lease. Knowing how to do so is an essential skill that will benefit you quite a bit. The last few years have witnessed an economic recession of sorts, and several industries have fallen prey to it. During such difficult times, being able to cut your costs is the best way to save your business. Re-evaluating your rental agreement is also required when you renew your lease, if the market undergoes changes or if your business is struggling. One common question that everyone has is, "Why should my landlord let me stay for less money?"
Remember that such difficult times affect everyone. Therefore, it isn't just you, but also your landlord and family too, who are worried as a result of this issue. Therefore, ensuring they have a loyal and good tenant for longer periods is in their best interest. In the end, getting less money for more extended periods at least ensures financial security.
What Renegotiation Options Do You Have?
In case your lease agreement is about to expire, you can try to ask for negotiation for cheaper monthly rent. This is especially true if you know you can get that price somewhere else due to changes in the market. In case you are battling financial struggles, you could also ask for a temporary rent reduction as a means to help you through the crisis.
In case the pandemic or some other reason has hit your business very badly, you could ask for a rent abatement. In this case, you tell your landlords that you will not be paying rent for a specified period. However, after this stretch, you will pay the full amount, and sometimes even a small interest. If you expect your business to pick up soon enough, you could also ask for partial rent abatement, wherein you pay only 50% of the full rent.
Subleasing your commercial space means you open up your building for some other company to set up shop. This is an excellent option if you do not occupy the space for a few months or have some extra space you are not utilizing efficiently. Most landlords are okay with this as long as the new tenants are okay with the terms of the rental agreement.
In some cases, retailers who do not want to pay a very high rent can choose instead to opt for paying a percentage of their revenues as rent. This model is extremely popular in the US, and in Europe, as it helps in easing the pressure on the retailers. It helps in minimizing risk, as there is no flat lease rate or monthly rental payment. In some ways, it makes the developer themselves a retailer as they have a share of the revenue generated by the retailer. Landlords can ask for a percentage of sales, a stake in the company, or a combination of rent and sales as their payment.
Other changes you can request include;
How to Renegotiate a Rental Contract for a Commercial Space
Tips on How to Renegotiate Your Commercial Lease
In a perfect world, everyone would understand someone else's position without having to say anything. However, since that is not the case, we all need to negotiate when hard times befall us. But that isn't always a bad thing as it might prove to be what helps us out the most. At the end of the day, we are all humans. People understand that national and global economic situations change at unprecedented speeds. Everything from economic slowdowns to personal crises can affect a tenants' fortunes. However, you can get out of such tight spots by being smart, doing your research, and renegotiating your lease.
Authored by: Dhivya Naresh