When people think about renting office space, the forget that finding a quality office space is similar to finding an apartment rental. But sometimes finding a good office space is a lot easier and comes with a lot less hassles. So here are some tips that can be applied to both office space rentals and apartment rentals.

Tip #1: Location, Location, Location

Ideally, you want to find an office space location that is both prestigious and convenient. A prestigious office location will tell your customers and potential clients that you mean business and that you have standards. But be careful not to choose a location that will intimidate your clients into believing your prices will be too high in order to afford this address. The location of your office space also needs to be convenient for you and your staff and clients to get to. A good office location will also be nearby the amenities you or your business requires.

When  it comes to finding an apartment, you have to choose a location where you will be comfortable living as well as having the nearby amenities you will want. Just like finding an office space, the apartment you choose should also be convenient for you to get to from work or play – but also for your friends or family to be able to visit.

Tip #2: Know what amenities are available

When you research your office rental space, be sure to not look at your core office-space needs, but also look to find out what amenities are included or available on site, especially when you are looking for a serviced office. Ask important questions such as…..Does the office come with reception services? Are there boardrooms available for use and at what is the cost? Are there network printers and photocopiers for your use and at what cost per page of printing? Are there kitchen facilities available with coffee, tea or filtered water? Is there a cafeteria or other eating establishment in the building? What other amenities does the building offer? Finally, what about access and security?

The questions for apartments are different, but it is important to know what is provided and what is not. Some apartments come with appliances, but some do not. You want to know if there is an in-suite laundry or if the building has a separate laundry room. Is there a security system in the building?

Tip #3: Keep your options open until you sign the lease

Once you find an office space that seems to suit your needs, keep your options open until you sign the lease. Just because you like an office space and it is within your budget, does not mean that the office is yours. Most office space providers will require an application process that will likely include a credit check, information about previous offices or business locations, and business references. Some office space landlords will request a deposit cheque that will cover one month of rent, but will be returned to you un-cashed if they do not accept your tenancy.

Similarly, when you are searching for an apartment, do not stop looking just because you found a place that you think you may like. Keep your options open in case you do not get your “ideal” choice. Just as with office-space applications, be prepared to give proof of income, have a credit check done, and have your personal references and previous landlord contacted for information about you. Most landlords will request a first-month deposit, but not until they have approved your application. Be careful of landlords who request a money order before they accept you for tenancy, because this will restrict you from searching for other places while you wait for their decision.

Tip #4: Read the Lease or Rental Agreement

While you probably do not need a lawyer to read a short-term or no-fixed-term office rental agreement, it is important that you actually read it and understand what you are agreeing to. Understand the fine points of the agreement or lease before you sign it. If the terminology contains too much legal jargon, you may want to have an attorney or a paralegal read it to insure that it actually means what it says. This will also help you to keep from being surprised by hidden fees or extra expenses you were not anticipating.

Just because most apartment leases are said to be “pretty much standard” does not mean that you should not read it. Reading the lease carefully will tell you what is expected of you and what your rights are as a tenant. Watch for clauses that involve hidden extra costs, penalties or extra deposits on things like keys that are non-returnable.

In Conclusion…..

While finding an office or an apartment are not exactly the same thing, using some of the same thinking for either can help your search be less painful and much more productive.