Commercial Property – What to Do If the Lease Is Unsigned

In commercial property management and leasing you frequently come across the problem of the tenant delaying the signing of the lease. It can be for a number of reasons such as:

  • The complete terms of the lease are still being negotiated
  • The tenant is still finalizing their fitout design
  • The various partnership members are not all available for signature
  • The documentation is still with the tenants solicitor
  • The business or government department is taking time to process the document
  • The decision makers are away
  • Approvals for permitted use are delayed at local council

So the list goes on and you will see many variations of the problem. Tenants will give you so many different reasons why the lease is still outstanding. Frequently the delay process is not as it seems and there are other alternatives that the tenant is adopting for their own reasons. Tenants will not tell you the whole truth; that is a fact.

The signature on a lease is then a critical element of making the tenancy available for occupancy. In almost all lease situations, you would want the tenant to satisfy the following criteria before the keys to the tenancy are handed over:

  1. The lease is totally and correctly signed
  2. The plans and drawings associated with the tenants fitout have been submitted to the landlord and are approved
  3. The plans and drawings associated with the tenants fitout have been submitted to the building control board or local council and are approved
  4. The first months rental is paid in advance in accordance with the lease documentation
  5. The appropriate personal or bank guarantees are provided to the landlord in accordance with the agreement to lease
  6. All associated documentation and disclosures tied to the lease implementation are correctly served and satisfied
  7. The deposit required under the lease agreement or lease arrangement is paid

The golden rule in the leasing a property to a tenant is that all lease requirements are satisfied in accordance with the property managers instructions and the landlord’s requirements before any keys and tenancy access are given.

It should also be said that any incentive to be made available to the tenant as part of the new lease structure should not be released or made available until all the six points above are satisfied.

In most instances with commercial property, the tenants you work with are very experienced in business and negotiation. They are likely to be more experienced than the property manager or the landlord. The tenants will set up the leasing situation to their own advantage during the lease negotiation.

So the clear message here is that the premises should not be handed over to the tenant until all lease documentation requirements have been satisfied correctly and legally.

Commercial Property Management – Checklist for Property Management Handovers

When you take over the management of a commercial or retail property today, the information that you gather from the outgoing property manager or landlord will be critical to the establishment and future success of your property management processes.

Information is Critical

Lack of information in the handover process means problems and potential errors in the future. On that basis you should have a specialised handover process that you can implement on and with the handover of every property type within your local area. A checklist will help your activities as you bring in the new property to the management portfolio.

Here are some ideas to incorporate into your handover checklist:

  1. Get complete and comprehensive details of all leases and licensed occupied areas within the property. You will need to check these against the tenants physically in occupancy and the rental invoices that are raised for tenancy payment. Everything has to cross relate accurately.
  2. Copies of lease documents should be checked against the original documentation. Also look for side agreements for any extension or variance documentation relating to the original lease.
  3. Copies of correspondence relating to existing tenancy matters should be handed to you. Ask for this specifically and drill down on the details of each matter.
  4. Get copies of the current rental invoices and cross reference these to the tenancy schedules for the property. It is not unusual to come across in errors in the tenancy schedule or the rental invoices.
  5. The tenancy schedule should be checked against the actual leases and other occupancy papers and the signed documentation between the landlord and tenant.
  6. Check all outgoings charges and expenses that are applied to the tenancies within the managed property. The charging process should be shown on the rental invoices; you will need to check this amount and the process of recover that is adopted. It is not unusual to see errors in the outgoings recovery with tenants in managed properties. The process of checking will involve you getting copies of the current outgoings budget and the recent outgoings reconciliation.
  7. The arrears that apply to the property and any tenancies should be identified as part of the handover. They are sometimes discharged at the time of settlement, although the question should be raised in case you are taking over the ongoing pursuit of the arrears with any existing tenants. If that is the case you will need copies of all previous correspondence and claims.
  8. Current vacant tenancies within the premises may be the subject of lease negotiation. You will need copies of the lease offers that are or have been made and the status of the existing negotiations.
  9. Details of the maintenance issues within the building will be required. The essential services within the building will be critical maintenance contracts to identify early in the Handover. Any threats to the stability and function of essential services should be identified and addressed immediately. The maintenance contractors for the building will understand the function of the existing plant and machinery; get details of these contractors and then set up meetings as quickly as possible.
  10. Ask about any orders or notices that apply to the property or any part thereof. Check out any encumbrances, rights of way, or easements that apply to property usage.

So these are some of the main items that apply to the property management handover process. There will always be more issues and items to look at although these items listed above are the big ones to immediately get under control.

Tips to Buy Overseas Property Safely

Buying a property is a process that requires patience and perseverance. It takes time to do the research on the status of the real estate market and its norms in your choice of destination. The crucial part is to find a proper, reliable and experienced service provider who can help you through the whole process, right from the start through to the final stage of owning your property. We have enlisted a few key points with a goal to help you initiate the process of buying your dream property abroad.

Hire an independent lawyer

Many people seek the help of real estate agents, which is not a very good start. No matter how smart, experienced, informative and well-mannered an agent tends to be, never fall for it. Always get an independent lawyer, who will represent you throughout the whole buying process. If you are represented by the lawyer, it means you are well-protected from making any expensive mistakes down the road.

Get help from a financial specialist

Sort out your financial preferences that would help you allot a suitable budget to purchase the property. Get a provisional mortgage if you have plans to borrow money apart from what you plan to pay from your pocket. Ask your financial specialist to suggest a long term repayment plan that would be feasible for you as the lending criteria and the borrowing costs may change during those years.

Hire a foreign exchange specialist

If you borrow money overseas, but earn at home, you have to make sure that the rate fluctuations would not affect the value of your property. The difference in the value of currencies could take the property out of your hands as it goes beyond your budget. Discuss with a foreign exchange specialist and understand your risks and have a proper contingency plan to handle unpleasant situations.

Double-check the agent credentials

Apart from hiring an independent lawyer, choose a professional overseas real estate agent to assist you through the process. Place your focus on the agency rather than the property you want to buy. Question them in all possible ways to make sure the company or the agent is potentially the right person to do business. No matter what they claim, make sure everything is true, to the last bit. Don’t trust reel reviews, read real client testimonials. Ask them to offer their “Terms of business” on paper prior to signing a formal contract with them.

Learn to get the most out of your investment

When you purchase a property overseas as an investment, you must understand that you can have big returns only with risks. Make a thorough inventory of the risk to reward ratio to help you cope up with the risks and to reap better rewards out of your investment when everything goes well.

Commercial Property Leasing Activity Report – Your Complete and Foolproof Guide

When you manage or lease a commercial, industrial, or retail building you have to track the leasing issues, not only for the landlord, but also for the tenant. The performance of an investment property is impacted by rental and lease documentation in a variety of ways; you do not normally want a vacant property.

The Property Manager or Leasing Manager for the property has to keep things under control and on track to the property strategy, business plan, and tenancy mix.

To solve the problem it is best to run a leasing activity reporting process and update it at least monthly. Within each month the report becomes a moving tool to support the property investment for the landlord. It is a document that tracks:

  • Current lease activity
  • Forward lease changes
  • Vacancies

What you are normally looking to avoid here with the report is disruption to cash flow or something that disturbs the function of the property outside of any plans you may have. Accuracy in the report is paramount as it is likely to be the main document that keeps you abreast of critical lease issues. If there is an error in the report then you will likely miss a critical date on a lease, and that can be significant in the function of the property over the longer term for the landlord.

The leasing activity report is a forward looking report usually covering the next 12 months and everything that can happen to leases and licences therein. Special attention has to be given to anchor tenants, and tenancy mix strategies that are already in place; these strategies are already active and should be continued.

In a multi-tenant occupancy, the number of leases in the building can become daunting and diverse. When the landlord owns and operates a number of properties at the same time, the matter of lease stability is also complex. The leasing activity report keeps you on track.

A leasing activity report should include the following issues:

  1. A tenancy schedule of current leases including upcoming predicted or known changes such as rent reviews by type and timing, options for a further term, and expiry dates.
  2. Status of any current negotiations with tenants both new and established.
  3. Signed leases report (that is for existing leases for occupying tenants)
  4. Submitted leases report for documents that are outstanding for any reason
  5. Proposals for new leases pending a decision by the landlord or tenant
  6. Vacancy report of areas that are soon to be or are already vacant
  7. Marketing strategy and inspection feedback for vacant areas currently
  8. Prospects currently looking at the property and status
  9. List of vacant areas in competing properties nearby
  10. Changes to tenancy mix recommended
  11. Schedule of rentals in the current surrounding market to which you compete
  12. Overview of the types and level of incentive that exists in the surrounding market
  13. Target rentals and target lease terms
  14. Summary of recent leasing decisions made by the landlord in the last month that impact the property or any vacancy.

When you use these topics for your leasing report, it is clear for you to see that most things are covered and under control. In addition to the items above it is best to provide a time line graph of events both current and foreseen to help track events before they happen.

7 Tips For Buying a Property

Buying a property requires a good deal of research. Even if you are from the same place, you have to take care of a lot things before buying a house or apartment of your choice. Given below are 7 tips that can make the process a bit less stressful for you.

Location

As far as buying a property goes, the most important things is the location. Locations with facilities, such as hospitals, schools and parking lots are a great choice. Properties in these areas cost a bit more, but worth the extra price paid.

Haggling

Just because a property is on sale at a certain price doesn’t mean it’s worth the higher price. Moreover, the seller may not have taken an oath to sell it at the listed price no matter what. So, do your homework, find out the prices of other properties in the same area and then negotiate with the seller.

Go for a less sought after property

For instance, you can go for an apartment built above a popular shop. The apartment may offer more than enough space to meet your needs. Moreover, it may not cost as much as other apartments.

Control your enthusiasm

If the vendor or real estate agents comes to know that are in love a property, they may stick to the price offered, and you may not be able to get the best deal. Therefore, when viewing a property, you may want to control your enthusiasm.

Talk to the locals

To get a good idea of the neighborhood, you may want to talk to the locals. They can tell you how it is to live in the area. They will tell you about the nearby shops, pubs and other places. Aside from this, talking to the locals will give you an idea of what type of people they are. After all, you may not want to live with not-so-good people.

Auctions

Auctions are a good option too. Make sure you have gone through the paperwork before choosing a property. Also, don’t forget to view the property before signing the documents.

Team up

You should team up with your friends if you need help. What you need to do is be creative. While you may not want to share a flat or house with someone, your family member or friend may be on the lookout of a good investment opportunity. This can help you get the required capital to buy your desired house. Of course, you can pay become a full owner of the house after paying them their share of the property.

So, these are some simple but useful tips to help you new buyers like you. Buying a property is not a rocket science but it does require some research on your part. Therefore, you should not do it alone if you are a beginner. Instead, you should get help from someone in the light of the tips given in this article. Hopefully, you can get your hands on the right apartment now.

Tips On Picking "Sleeper" Real Estate Property

Real estate investing is all about perception. Your perception of where the market is going, in conjunction with where it’s actually going. The aim, as always is to buy low and sell high.

You want to buy a cheap tract of dirt and sell it as a high priced piece of developed real estate, after it’s appreciated enough to turn a tidy profit. Selling the property is an art in and of itself.

Buying an initial tract of dirt lends itself to some solid, rational guidelines:

First, look at trend lines for housing prices in your area. While most housing markets are in decline (and the housing markets in Florida and California are adjusting from more than a decade of over-valuation), there are markets where the housing prices are going up. This is a decent leading indicator that there’s a market for expansion.

Second, look for job related news. Home purchases require a steady source of income. New employers moving into a city, or a government branch office opening up are a strong indicator that good, well paying jobs are likely to come up. Where well paying jobs roost, home purchases follow.

Related to this, talk to your local city planning office. Are there recent purchases of “right of ways” to lay down sewer lines? Is the local telephone cable making plans to run out fiber optic lines – a “must have” trend in new home construction. These things point to areas where home growth is immanent. Other big tip offs are school bond issues (found in your local news paper) and new parks being opened up.

Before you look at the land, check out the adjacent commercial real estate usage. Look for “family friendly” or “residential friendly” commercial properties: Houses that are close to grocery and clothes shopping tend to fetch a higher price than ones that are farther away. If there’s a movie theater nearby, or plans for an elementary or middle school, factor that into the size of the homes you build, and what their amenities will be; buyers looking for those features are looking for “mover upper” homes – with a bit more floor space, and two (or three) bedrooms for the kids. Other spots to look for are anchor stores, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. These companies spend millions on surveys of purchasing patterns before buying a store location; if they’re buying a plot of land, you’ve got about a year to a year and a half window to look into nearby real estate for single family residential and rental residential properties.

You can even flip this on its side – if you can talk to a group of commercial real estate investors, building a shopping center as the nucleus for home development is also a viable combined strategy. This also applies to highly urban areas. Many downtown areas that have been abandoned by businesses can be converted to apartment buildings, and some of the older housing projects are being torn down for mixed-use spaces with combined commercial and residential areas. In particular, you can often get block grants to help with the financing on projects like this, and there are programs from HUD that can help out a great deal with “urban renovations”.

Another source to investigate is the demographics in your area. Look at the US Census figures (and local county figures) for median age, and median birth rate per capita. You want to invest in areas where the population is growing already. High skews in the ’40s and ’50s indicate that you’ve got a bunch of people who are going to retire soon, and retirees are highly prone to selling properties off. Places to watch carefully are most of the urban parts of California, and great swaths of the rural Midwest, where demographic trends have been changing entire towns since the 1950s as the country’s population has shifted to urban areas.

If there’s a local planning council, or urban development council, make it a point to get the minutes of all the meetings from the past year. The city council offices will have them on file as a matter of public record. Also try to get into the next range of meetings as an observer. Discuss with the city and county managers where they see housing and construction trends moving. What you’re looking for is real estate that will be desirable in two to three years; look at road planning atlases, and look for all the data you can find. Also look for real estate that will be scenic – lake front property is as close to a guaranteed bet as you can get in real estate investing, particularly if there’s a lake that’s at the “far end” of a development axis. Likewise, if there’s land that the city council is looking to acquire for parks, buying the adjacent lots now means you’ll be able to sell them later.

Lastly, talk to the professionals in your communities. Talk to architects who can tell you if they’re busy or not. Maintain professional contacts with engineers, bankers and attorneys. They will usually know about projects well before the general public. Also make a habit of reading the local newspaper’s business section. Often times, the first clue that a business may move in to your area is buried at the bottom of a column on page 8.

Using the guidelines suggested above will help you to find “sleeper” raw land properties. These “sleeper” properties are perfect for the buy low, sell high strategy used by successful commercial real estate investors.

Tips for Outgoings Management and Budgets in Commercial Property

When you manage commercial real estate, the outgoings within the property will require focus and financial control. When the property market slows or gets tougher, managing the outgoings is really important; the outgoings form part of the financial strategy for the landlord and will impact the net income for the property. If the outgoings get too high, the property will be hard to lease and hard to sell.

Set Some Rules

You can split the outgoings into a number of categories and this is normally done to identify and track the cash flow by expense streams. Most importantly there are two sides to the outgoings equation. Some of the items will be controllable and others will be uncontrollable. This means that the landlord can exercise control on only some of the outgoings.

The uncontrollable outgoings are those which are imposed on the property and have to be paid without any opportunity for cost savings, adjustments, or budgeting. Those uncontrollable items are normally council rates, land tax, and water rates. To a degree, insurance and energy costs will also fall into that category although some cost controls are possible with these items.

To manage the property outgoings effectively it pays to adopt a process similar to the following:

  • Create a budget for the property prior to the commencement of financial year
  • Track your expenditure to budget monthly. Adjust expenditure when you see a need and reason; early adjustment prevents bigger blowouts.
  • Look at the history of the property expenditure over the last few years to identify any excessive spending or items that are beyond the averages in the local area. The history of the property will allow you to adjust your budgets and cash flow expectations.
  • Make sure that you have removed the capital expense items from the normal repairs and maintenance for the property.
  • Talk to the owners of comparable properties in the same area. The outgoings between your property and their property should be similar. If not, you need to know why and take steps to fix that. Share information of outgoings costs with other similar property owners for this very reason.
  • Monitor the annual valuations for rating purposes. When these valuations are done, you will soon see the statutory charges and council rates rise soon after. It is not unusual for landlords and property managers to dispute the valuation in an effort to keep the statutory charges at a lower rate.

In preparing an expenditure budget for the property, you should time the expenditure so that the larger costs are expected; hence ensuring that the cash flow is suitably adjusted in preparation.

The controllable outgoings are those that the landlord can exercise decision and timing. Normal items of repairs and maintenance together with the contractor maintenance will fall within this category. If the landlord chooses to delay the expenditure with the controllable outgoings, then they can spread the impact of those items on the net monthly income from the property.

In summary, the property manager working on behalf of the landlord should exercise due care and diligence in the budgetary process for property expenditure. A well-managed landlord cash flow in an investment property is a correct balance of income against expenditure given the tenancy mix pressures on the building and the existing vacancy factors.

Your Perfect Guide To Financing Property Development

If you happen to be a property investor, a developer, or a landlord, there’s an array of commercial land and development financing options to kick-start your project. However, for many commercial realty investors, the alternative investment market is pretty complex and large. So through this post, we’re attempting to simplify commercial property financing options for investors like you who’re looking forward to developing their own commercial properties.

Commercial mortgages

Commercial loans are used for purchasing commercial properties, such as offices, warehouses, and shops. Broadly defining, these mortgages will work like their private counterparts only. That is, a commercial mortgage will work to spread the cost of any large purchase over a specific period of time-generally, a fixed number of years.

The plainest commercial finance type will be leveraged by existing businesses that want to invest/buy in their own premises; a place where a business is currently operating. One typical example is of a dentist who’ll want to buy a specific piece of land within the clinic’s premises. However, if the dentists can’t pay for that specific piece of real estate straight away, then the dental expert can avail oneself of a number of commercial mortgage options-for example, commercial bridge financing.

If you don’t wish contributing cash yourself, then it’ll be, sometimes, possible to get close to 100 percent financing by putting in additional security. However, for getting full financing, you must have a powerful trading record and a solid history of operating within the premise (where you’re looking forward to investing). If you talk of the businesses, then it’s easy for an established business to get a commercial fund; however, for a start-up, getting commercial mortgages is difficult as the lenders have to face a lot of risks.

Buy-to-let mortgages V. commercial loans

Now, there’s one more situation where a commercial loan will be suitable; according to this situation, landlords-having large property portfolios-will make the most of business loans whenever they’ll want to buy a lot of properties. Having such a portfolio, you’ll combine a lot of properties within one single mortgage. By doing so, you’ll be able to cut arrangement fees and even leverage economies of scale.

Such a commercial mortgage is different from a buy-to-let mortgage in terms of scale only. So this setup can be leveraged by only those landlords that have multiple properties. This specific mortgage type is never meant for those individuals who’re looking to acquire their first ever rental property-for them, it’s the buy-to-let mortgage option.

So that’s it, readers. If you’re looking forward to getting a commercial mortgage loan for land and development finance, you’ll have to touch base with some of the finest alternative financing lenders in the market. That’s because they’ll be the ones to cater to your commercial property financing needs easily and, most importantly, quickly.

A Proven Blueprint for a Career in Commercial Property Management Today

The commercial property management industry is highly specialized in many different ways. It takes time to understand the elements of the industry and the requirements of professional services supplied to landlords and tenants. The same can be said as it applies to retail property leasing and shopping center management.

If you are considering a career in commercial or retail property management and or leasing, here are some tips to help you with establishing your skills and growing your professional services.

  1. You will need to know about the current property market in many different ways. Typically you will need to understand the market rentals, vacancy factors, property types, new developments, and landlord investment requirements. All of these things will help you with lease negotiations and the services that you provide to your landlord clients.
  2. The different property types require different levels of property management involvement. Industrial property is relatively simple and basic from the management perspective given that you usually have only one tenant to monitor within one lease and one property. When you move your property management skills to an office property or a retail shopping centre you will normally be dealing with multiple tenants and variable lease conditions. On that basis you will need to know the standards of lease occupancy, property legislation applying to leasing, and the physical attributes of the landlord and tenant negotiation.
  3. From every lease occupancy there will be issues to monitor and optimize involving rental income, property expenditure, risk and liability, and tenancy placement. Each month it is normal to provide a landlord with a comprehensive property report relating to current investment performance, property maintenance, vacancy and leasing factors, together with projections from the prevailing market conditions.
  4. Most landlord clients will have a number of specific targets relating to their investments. Those targets will be shaped by the age of the property, the tenancy mix, redevelopment requirements, and the local business community. To serve your clients well, take the time to understand their investment requirements and intentions relating to the asset.
  5. With the larger properties, there will usually be a budget of relates to rental income recovery, and expenditure activity. That budget will be established prior to the beginning of a financial year and then loaded into the business plan for the property for the coming 12 months. Every month every quarter or budgeting process will be checked and changed depending on prevailing market conditions.

Professional property managers are specialists in many different ways. Some will specialize in a single property type in their town or city. In that way they can bring specific knowledge and information together with high levels of skills to the clients that they serve.

Commercial Property As the Ultimate Storehouse of Value – 14 Winning Tips

To help invest in property that most nearly fits your wishes, let’s start by understanding the likenesses and differences, as well as the benefits and disadvantages, of owning a commercial property versus owning a home one. Here are few winning tips to serve as your steering light in an ocean of doubt.

1. Have clauses of every Sale & Purchase Agreement explained to you by a Barrister before execution.

2. Reasons your capital outlay is higher with commercial property are: commercial properties generally cost more and the margin of financing by banks is ten to fifteen percent lower. Rates of commercial property loans are sometimes higher than home property loans and the terms are generally not as flexible.

3. Capital appreciation of commercial properties are relatively higher than home property traditionally. With commercial properties you will most probably be working with companies and corporations whereby management is more ecstatic.

4. The value of a property is sometimes in close relation to the income it generates.

5. Approval level of upward rental revision is far higher with commercial properties.

6. With the properties, there are countless strategies you might support your tenants’ business.

7. Lease your property to firms / companies with successful track records and / or appropriate firms for the vicinity.

8. Long term leases can be anticipated from renters of properties.

9. It’s a norm for renters of properties to ask for a rent-free period for refurbishment to be carried out.

10. Renters of properties generally take better care of your properties.

11. There’s nearly always a budget for reconstruction works for properties put aside by your renter. There is not any prerequisite to furnish your commercial property.

12. Application rates and rates for give up rent and assessment are higher for commercial properties. Service charges can be applied to office lots, retail lots, serviced terraces, commercial shop-lots with facilities as well as some guarded commercial lots.

13. Collection of delinquent rental for properties is simpler in comparison to home properties due to straightforwardness of access.

14. The trend and requirement for intellectual commercial buildings is growing far more fast than smart houses. Unlike home properties, when the alignment of the project is favourable, it is OK to go for commercial properties found at T-junctions.

The excellent news is, you picked up this information and that already differentiates you from the outwardly blind flock of investing sheep. This information is one of the finest methods to start your successful property investment journey.