Dallas-Fort Worth Leasing Lull Means Plenty of Negotiation Possibilities

Dallas-Fort Worth Leasing Lull Means Plenty of Negotiation PossibilitiesThe Dallas office market, although it has recently seen a much-needed increase in activity, is still down from a year ago. This could be the reason why you may be able to negotiate yourself a great deal on Dallas office space for rent.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area, although it has shown signs of improvement during the first half of 2010, still posted a decline in occupancy rates. The office occupancy rate for the Dallas-Fort Worth area is about 200,000 square feet lower than a year ago at this time, according to Cushman & Wakefield of Texas.

If you’re ready to lease Dallas office space for rent you may have more room for negotiation, thanks to the decrease in occupancy rates. The question is: do you know what you need to do to negotiate your way into the best deal for Dallas office space for rent?

• Ask about usable square footage vs. rentable square footage – Consider how much space you will actually be using for your Dallas office space for rent. Usable square footage is the actual space you will be using. Rentable square footage will include areas such as public corridors, lobbies and bathrooms. To really compare Dallas office space for rent, ask for the difference in numbers. Then, use this information in your negotiations.

• Make your lease as broad as possible regarding permitted use of premises – Your business may grow and change over time, thereby changing your needs regarding your Dallas office space. Because office leases are generally for longer periods than residential leases, it is important to make the clauses in your lease as broad as possible so that you have the flexibility to use the space as needed and/or desired.

• Think about the length of your lease and if it will suit you – Generally, landlords will try to lock you into a longer-term lease. However, if you find that the space no longer suits you, or that the price is no longer attractive, you may be stuck in a long-term lease. As such, it is always best to negotiate a shorter-term lease with renewal options.

• Be specific about rent increases – It is not uncommon for your landlord to include rent increases (based on the Consumer Price Index) in your lease. However, you may want to negotiate terms for these increases. For example, you may negotiate a deal that would guarantee a freeze in your rent for at least the first two years before the rent increases take place. You may also want to negotiate a cap on your rent increase for each year.

• Don’t forget about additional expenses – Your landlord may charge you for the maintenance of common areas, the building’s HVAC system, the building security or other operating costs. If this is the case, consider negotiating a cap for these costs.

• Take a good look at your option to renew – If you negotiate an option to renew, considering also negotiating a fixed price for renewal. Many times, landlords will base your lease renewal on fair market price, which could end up costing you big when it comes time for your lease renewal.