Unfortunately, these costs are unavoidable. However, there are measures that can be taken to ensure they are kept under control.
For occupiers, the three main costs to take into consideration are rent, rates and service charges.
In terms of rent, it is still an occupier’s market, although the balance is starting to shift, so whether you’re a new or existing tenant, make sure you leverage this favourable position while you can to get the best deal for you. If you’re committed to a long lease but have a break option due, take advantage of this to negotiate a better deal with the landlord. But be wary of conditional break clauses and take early advice from a building surveyor or legal advisor.
Along with rent, business rates are another significant cost for tenants. A property’s business rates are calculated based on the rateable value set by the Valuation Office Agency. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be challenged. Appeals can be lodged with the VOA if you think you are paying too much. An expert rating agent will be able to advise you.
Finally, make sure that the service charges you are paying represent good value against the services being provided. Service charges can be extremely costly so it is important you understand what you are paying for. The key thing to remember is occupancy costs don’t have to be costly.
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