Back in April and May BRM ran a series of webinars titled "Where To Now For Commercial Tenants". The series explored a range of issues surrounding the uncertainty faced by both landlord and tenants as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we continue to be in the grip of this world-changing health crisis, BRM is looking back to the key points we've learned as we've crossed each stage together with our clients.
“How we behave now, will be remembered for a long time”
The relationship between tenant and landlord is paramount
In April, we encouraged tenants to be open and transparent with their landlord if they were immediately impacted by the unfolding crisis. Rather than advising our clients not to pay rent at all, we urged them to start discussions with their landlords and put temporary arrangements in place. A Code Of Conduct was introduced by the government to re-enforce the need for fair, open and honest relationships between landlords and tenants and these relationships will play a vital role in commercial property decisions moving forward
“This is the great disruption – a perfect time to re-assess what’s working and what’s not”
Re-think Your Workspace
We have never seen a change of this magnitude sweep the globe so rapidly. Many businesses are using this change to create opportunity, both in their business models and in their workspace. Landlords and tenants are working co-operatively to maximise the value of existing spaces and alter them to fit the needs of the businesses that fill them. Never before have we seen such flexibility with space and openness to new design and property ideas. This is certainly the time to let go of legacy and face change with strong leadership and honest relationships.
“There will be many things we thought we needed but don’t. The future office will be a way to embed and promote new behaviours that are healthier and more meaningful”
This Is Not The “End Of The Office”
Despite significant shifts in the market, there will always be a demand for office space. Rather than a complete abolishment of the traditional bricks and mortar office, we will see a newly improved future workplace, based on flexibility, wellbeing, activity based working and new locations outside of the CBD. Our collective Working From Home experience has taught us that while there are many aspects of the traditional office we can do without, we still need that physical connection and social aspect of coming to work every day.
“We needed to make sure that everything that was negotiated has been translated correctly”
Reconcile Your Rental Invoices
Businesses that qualify for JobKeeper and eligible for (as negotiated with landlord) reductions in land tax, council rates, rent waiver/deferment calculations will need to ensure that they are not overpaying on their rent. A lease audit will examine leasehold expenses along with all documents associated with the commercial lease to verify that charges billed to the tenant are in compliance with leased terms. Although traditionally used as a tenant tool, lease audits will strengthen the tenant-landlord relationship by promoting accuracy throughout the lease invoicing process.
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