Commercial Property Management Handover Procedures

When taking on a new property management that is office, industrial, or retail property, first and foremost the property manager needs to get on top of tenant matters.  The tenant is already in the property from the moment the property manager takes over the property. Tenants have issues, and on that basis the lease terms, the tenant occupancy, and premises detail have to be high on the agenda of review for the property manager.  Having a fixed handover procedure or checklist is essential.

All tenant occupancy terms are usually reflected in a lease.  If not, then they are likely to be monthly or casual tenants.  In that case the tenant will have no lease to refer to in relation to terms of occupancy.  In that case the tenant will still have occupancy rights and obligations to understand from law and legislation in your location.  When in doubt see a good solicitor.

One small word on leases that do exist is that they can be registered or un-registered.  This means that they may or may not be on the title for the property.  Either way the tenant has rights which are protected and explained in that lease.  Find all leases that apply to the tenants in the property and review them for impact on service and maintenance matters.  It is quite possible for any tenant to have special terms and conditions in that regard.

To review a lease for this type of issue, read the lease in its entirety so that relevant matters of maintenance and response are recognized.   The types of issues frequently written into leases are those such as:

  • Security situations and systems
  • Air conditioning provisions and service to the tenant
  • Maintenance obligations and methods
  • Occupational Health and Safety obligations
  • Response times and processes in any maintenance
  • Methods of keeping the tenant informed
  • Methods of accessing the tenancy for service and maintenance events
  • Levels of acceptable safe or comfortable occupancy
  • Rent adjustment or abatement in times of service failure

Keeping in contact with tenants so that service and maintenance needs are addressed in keeping with occupancy documentation, is essential to property performance.   When major failures of plant and machinery occur it is the property manager that has to have the levels of control and communication to preserve and protect the landlord’s position.

In property management expect that big things will go wrong from time to time.  A response management plan or a crisis management plan is part of the toolbox for a property manager.  The larger the property you find the greater the potential for a major building failure, and possibly personal injury.  If you know your property is located in an area of reasonable natural disaster potential, then be prepared.  Do you have the control systems and people to keep things under control?

You can get more detail on Commercial Property Management at our website here

By John Highman

John Highman is an International Commercial Real Estate Author, Conference Speaker, and Broadcaster living in Australia, who shares property investment ideas and information to online audiences Worldwide.

2 replies on “Commercial Property Management Handover Procedures”

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