Check List for Office Leasing Procedures
1. Define Requirements
Size, budget and location are the most important criteria. This will often determine the quality, the level of specification and facilities available to the tenant.
2. Timing of Possession
Tenants should be mindful that at least one to two months are required to order materials and furniture before taking possession, so it is important to set a realistic target date for possession, otherwise the unit will be standing idle during the rent-free fitting out period.
3. Appraisal of Options
Corporate Locations will provide a complete list of opportunities available to the client, but will also offer accurate guidance on those buildings that will suit their needs best.
4. Site Inspections
Once a shortlist of buildings has been drawn up, Corporate Locations will arrange a site inspection with full itinerary prepared, transport organized and refreshments laid on.
5. Building Selection
Usually the client will have 2-3 buildings in their final shortlist and this is the time to check with an interior designer that the size, layout and specification will suit their needs. Corporate Locations will be able to give the client a list of the most suitable designers according to the nature of the requirement.
6. The Negotiations
Corporate Locations are completely independent agents, so we are one of the best qualified to negotiate the strongest possible terms for any occupier. We prepare the initial ‘heads of terms' proposal in the form of a ‘Letter of Intent’ – which is always ‘Subject to Contract' and thus non-binding until the landlord issues a formal offer for acceptance. Subsequent offers and counter-offers will all be scrutinized vetted and coordinated through Corporate Locations.
Once heads of terms are agreed, the landlord will issue a formal Letter of Offer (LOO) or Booking Form, which is binding once signed. Often this refers to the lease agreement so this does need to be checked by the tenant before signing any LOO but sometimes a copy of the draft lease is not always provided which can cause issues. The tenant will need to sign the LOO/ Booking Form with a company chop/stamp marked on the document and return with an initial security deposit (usually 1 month's rental). Before taking possession, the landlord will insist the actual lease documentation is signed and the remainder of the deposit money paid over.
8. Security Deposit
Before the tenant signs a Letter of Offer and pays over the initial 1 months rental deposit (sometimes landlords ask for 3 months), he/she should be happy with the terms of the offer and be reasonably comfortable with the draft lease. This is because the deposit is normally non-refundable.
Whilst it is not intended that all the terms and terminology of the lease are finalized at this stage, the tenant should be satisfied there are no major obstacles in the lease before signing the Letter of Offer.
After signing the Letter of Offer, tenants are usually given one month to finalize the drafting of the lease. Many landlords in Singapore will have their own standard lease documentation which they will not want to vary too much. Therefore, major changes are unlikely and we always recommend all tenants to use local lawyers familiar with landlord and tenant legislation in Singapore.
9. The Handover
It is recommended that the client's interior designer/contractor be present at the time of handing over to take an accurate record of the condition of the premise at that time and to highlight repairs that the landlord should be responsible for.