5 tips to help you know the landlord you’re getting into bed with
Consider this: You own an SME that employs 30 people and sign a lease for a monthly rental of R70,000. Over the average 5-year lease term, you’ll pay your landlord R4million in rental.
I don’t care how big you are, that’s a lot of money. Ever signed a deal with a supplier for R4M and not done your due diligence? So why don’t most tenants check out their landlord, before it’s too late?
5 tips to help you vet your next landlord:
1. Talk to the tenants
Not just in the building you’re looking at, but other buildings in their portfolio:
How available is the landlord?
How quickly are issues resolved?
Is the problem fixed properly, first time?
2. Ask a broker
Brokers have a wealth of ‘on the ground’ knowledge. They know all the reasons tenants move out, and why they don’t. Ask them.
3. In sickness and in health
As a tenant, it’s your responsibility pay your rental, every month, on time. But what happens when life happens and you lose your biggest client?
Make sure your landlord values your long-term business: he understands that by helping you through your rough patch, he’s earned your loyalty for the good times.
Tip: talk to your broker; ask the tenants
4. Are the municipal accounts up to date?
It seems silly, but you don’t want to come to work one day to find the City has cut off your electricity because your landlord owes them R1million. Trust me, it’s more common than you think!
5. What’s the long-term game?
Although nobody really knows what the future holds, and our common law, “huur gaat voor koop” means your landlord can’t kick you out if he sells, you may want to check that he doesn’t have immediate plans of leaving you. Your next landlord may not have the same client values.
As much as bad landlords keep people like me in business, they don’t do much for yours. So, do your due diligence before you sign your next lease. The good guys are out there.
I’d love to hear your good and bad landlord experiences. Please comment below.
For advice on who the good guys are, and professional property services, contact Kat.