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If you want to purchase or rent an office space in London for your business, you need to ensure you get the best possible space for your company and that it provides you with everything you and your colleagues need.

But what are the questions to ask when viewing a commercial property in London?

When looking at office spaces, you need to know about the rental agreement, the lease and what exactly you will be paying for. This is what can determine whether the office is right for you or whether you should look elsewhere.

Asking commercial estate agents questions can help you find the perfect property to work in. They are legally obligated to give honest answers when you ask about the property or office space, so take advantage of the opportunity to find out more about your potential office.

Take a look at our 10 questions to ask commercial property estate agents in London when looking for your perfect flexible and serviced office space.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your London Estate Agent

1. How long has the property been on the market?

estate-agent-consultationWhen looking into a property, it is worth considering how long it has been on the market before catching your attention. If the office space in question has been available for a long time before you found it, this could indicate that there is an issue with the property, and you should investigate why the space has been on the market for so long.

It may be that the property had a previous offer, which then fell through and made the office space available again. If this is the case, find out why this offer fell through and if it has anything to do with the quality of the property. It may be that a survey found something that ended the offer.

2. Why are the current owners selling?

buying-and-selling-commercial-propertiesTake advantage of the fact that the answers must be truthful when thinking about questions to ask when renting an office. One of these questions can be why the current tenants or owners are leaving the property.

Most of the time, people change their office for legitimate reasons, such as wanting to move their business to a new location or needing more or less space. However, there can also be other reasons to move.

When viewing a property, you can ask why the previous tenants or owners have decided to leave and when they moved into the office space, especially if the time they have spent in the office is short. You can also find out how long a tenant has stayed in a building on the Land Registry website.

Issues such as disagreeable neighbours, noise or problems with the property may cause the space to be used by various tenants every few months. It is better to know about these issues before paying for office space, particularly if these problems can influence your decision to rent the property or not.

3. Have there been any recent renovations to the building?

property-renovations-checkIf you are looking into the price of a property, you need to consider any renovations you will need to do and how much these will cost. Can you move straight into the office, or do you need to have cosmetic work done beforehand? Does the office space contain state-of-the-art furniture? Is the space modern?

If you are considering a property, you need to consider the cost of any work you need to do in your offer. At the same time, you need to consider any recent renovations that have been done when making that offer to stick to your budget for expenses.

4. Can you provide references from past clients?

property-agency-reference-checksA great way to find out more information about an estate agent is through their previous clients. If you get the chance, try, and speak with them to establish what your agent is actually like and how they can help you going forward.

Asking previous clients can inform you about how they discovered that letting agency and what their search for a property was like. If your commercial estate agent can’t or won’t provide you with three references from people they have helped previously, take this into consideration. There could be a reason for this so make sure you stay updated with the real estate market in your area.

5. Who are the other tenants in the building?

commercial-estate-agentIf you are moving into an office, you are very likely to have neighbouring businesses in the building. It is worth finding out who these businesses are, as this could impact your own company if you moved into office space within the building.

Sharing a building with competitor businesses can lead to a loss of clients for your own company. This is especially a potential issue if you use your office space as a meeting room because they may see your competitor when they are in the building. In contrast, complementary businesses as neighbours can be beneficial for your business.

In this instance, it is important to ask who the other tenants are so you can establish how they will impact your company if you were to use the office space in the building. Working this out beforehand can prevent you from being stuck in an office with a competitor across the corridor.

6. What experience do you have in commercial real estate?

commercial-real-estate-consultationQuestions to ask estate agents don’t only tell you more about a property, but they can also tell you more about the people who are there to help you. Ideally, you want to work with an estate agent who has experience with properties within your chosen location instead of someone who doesn’t know the area.

To be able to effectively negotiate on their behalf, you need an estate agent who has extensive experience and who is the best on offer. In contrast, a newer estate agent will not have the knowledge of a more experienced colleague, so they could potentially not be the best fit for your search.

7. What amenities are included in the price?

property-amenities-and-servicesIt is important that, when paying for office space, you know exactly what you are paying for. This could include things like cleaners, utilities such as heating and electricity, maintenance and repairs, although this may not be an extensive list.

If these things are not included in your monthly payments, you need to ask how much you can expect to pay for these facilities and requirements. By doing so, you can take this into account when considering what office space to utilise.

8. Is the property structurally sound?

property-structure-checkThis is not something you can identify when viewing an office space, so you must ask the question to ensure you know about the state of the building. If there are any current or previous issues with the structure of the building, you can ask about them to find out what and how severe they are.

When viewing a property, you may find small cracks in the wall. However, these can be covered up with brickwork and other decorating techniques. Commercial estate agents and the sellers of a building can try and sugar-coat any visible issues with the office space, such as dampness and cracks, so it is important to ask about them for more details.

If you don’t ask about the structure of the building, you could be facing current issues, or previous issues that have returned, when you move in.

9. What type of commercial space do you specialise in?

commercial-property-typeFinding your ideal office space means you need someone specialising in your type of business. This is because they need to understand what you and your company need. Most commercial estate agents specialise in one area of business, so you want to find an agent who is familiar with your own industry.

An estate agent who specialises in an industry differing from your own won’t necessarily understand where your company needs to be and what it needs. This means you may need to move again if your office isn’t right for your business. Instead, find an estate agent who specialises in your industry and can find the right office for you.

10. Can you make changes to the office space layout?

office-space-layoutAn office space may have everything you need, but if the layout doesn’t meet your requirements, you need to consider what you can do about it. The layout of an office can impact productivity, so it is important that you get it right.

Sometimes, you can alter the layout of office space to make it more suitable for your company, but you may need to keep it within the guidelines presented by the building owner. Other times, you are unable to change the arrangement of furniture and must remain with the layout you have been presented with.

Ask about whether you can make these changes when looking at office spaces so you can determine whether or not they are appropriate for your business.

If you are looking for business spaces for rent in London, DeVono has a tool you can use to search for offices. As office spaces can impact work stress, depending on their design, it is important that you find the right one for your company. It incorporates filters such as office features and the number of desks required, allowing you to find that dream office.


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Manuela Willbold
Manuela WillboldOnline Media & PR Strategist
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Contributor to many Business Blogs in the United Kingdom | Fascinated to Write Blogs in News & Education I have completed a journalism summer course at the London School of Journalism and manage various blogs.

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