Commercial Real Estate Leasing – Tenant Move in Procedures and Checklist

When it comes to moving a tenant into a commercial or retail property, you can develop a checklist to keep you on task and cover the critical issues relative to the property and the parties involved.

In leasing and managing a property, there are many things that happen every day to distract you.  The checklist process will cover issues well and help prevent errors.  Moving a single tenant into a property is not all that hard, although the issues become much more complex with multiple tenant movements, just like that which you get when you are looking after a large project or shopping centre.

So here are some tips that can help you structure your tenant movement processes and controls.

  1. As a general rule nothing happens until the lease is signed by all parties, rent is paid, deposit is paid, guarantees are in and validated, and any other lease requirement completed.  Hold on to the keys until these things have been done.
  2. Meet the tenant on site to inspect the premises together.  As part of that process take plenty of photographs around and in the premises to record the state of the tenancy at time of handover.
  3. Give the tenant a set of ‘fit out guidelines’ that control the building activity that is likely to happen in the premises.  Those guidelines should also contain the plan approval requirements and the specification of materials and finishes to be used in the premises.
  4. Give the tenant a set of ‘building rules’ that tell them exactly how things happen in the property.  This strategy is wise when you have a building with a number of tenants.  They all should occupy to the same set of rules.  That will include access, common areas, security, property use, and risk management.
  5. Note the condition of the premises in a ‘condition report’ that the tenant should sign at the end of the inspection.  Give them a copy and you keep a copy on file.  The report will be important at the end of lease term when the make good is under consideration.
  6. Tenant fit out works should not commence until all the required plans and approvals have been obtained.  This then says that you should get the plans and drawings from the tenant to submit to the landlord.  If the landlord approves those plans, they can then be submitted by the tenant to the local building approvals authority.  Fit out work should not commence until the approvals are in place.
  7. Put the tenant details into the directory signboard system for the property.
  8. Whilst the tenant is completing their fit out they should not disrupt other tenants nearby.
  9. When the fit out has been completed, inspect the premises to ensure that the works undertaken comply with the approved plans and drawings.
  10. Get a full set of tenant plans after the works have been completed.

You can add to this list based on the property, the landlord, and the tenant.  Create your checklists to help you with all of this tenant movement.

Author: John Highman

Commercial Real Estate Broker, Coach, Speaker, Author, Broadcaster.