A landlord’s guide to commercial tenants

By Greg Bell

When the air conditioning unit breaks in a residential apartment, both the tenants and landlord are inconvenienced and a bit frustrated until it's fixed. When the air conditioning breaks in a hot, crowded gym or busy restaurant, however, trade can be completely sidelined and operations will suffer.

Being a commercial landlord isn't easy, and urgent maintenance requests are just the tip of the iceberg. Commercial property investing can be very profitable, but it's important to go into it with a basic understanding of what it's like to rent to businesses rather than individuals.

The duty to maintenance and repairs is higher

When people rent, they expect certain services from their landlord. This duty can include everything from the repairing the air conditioning mentioned earlier to fixing a broken window. Depending on the lease agreement, landlords might also be responsible for general upkeep, including things like commercial cleaning and lawn care.

With commercial properties, this duty is even higher because tenants need maintenance and repairs to be taken care of in order for their business to succeed. Something as simple as a sticky door, for example, can be very detrimental for a business who has one hundred customers visiting each day.

Commercial landlords need to understand their tenant's work

A good landlord doesn't just wait for requests to come in, they're proactive in making sure tenants have everything they need. In residential properties, this might mean hiring a gardener to visit the property at the start of spring, but things become a bit more high touch when someone is running a business in your commercial space

If you're renting to a hairdresser, for example, you'll need to make sure your shop has adequate lighting for a salon. If you're renting out an office space, strong Wi-Fi connection will be critical.

This understanding isn't just about making your tenants happy either. Commercial properties will also be subject to workplace health and safety inspections, which is why you need to make sure your space meets a number of requirements in regards to:

  • Fire alarms
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Evacuation routes
  • Accessibility
  • Heating and cooling
  • Ventilation
  • Asbestos control

Depending on who is operating in your property, government regulations will vary, so make sure you understand the rules to avoid being penalised.

The importance of commercial property management

Commercial property investing is a great way to build your portfolio and grow your wealth. Many investors, however, avoid commercial properties because they worry that the risks are too high and workload too strenuous.

Being a commercial property investor does require a lot of skill, but even beginners can enjoy high returns by working with an expert property management company. At Ray White Commercial Gold Coast, we can help you get across every aspect of your commercial property, including looking after your tenants.

To find out more about how we can help maximise your investment, reach out to the team today.

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