With property prices so miserably low, landlords are getting the willies about overcharging their tenants for rent. The big players are no exception – sega-mega shopping centre Westfield today drops its fees by 7%, from £13.94 per sq ft to £12.98.
But Westfield may have some pleading to do yet with angry tenants – one retail outlet’s chief exec said the cut was nowhere near enough. (Westfield retail tenants were originally told they could expect fees of around £8.50 per sq ft. Shockingly, charges were hiked up days after the centre opened, fully exploiting retailers who had set up shop there.)
And shopkeepers in the centre are now in a better position than ever before to bargain down their rates further – as is any business owner renting property. Commercial property sales have taken a real dip, and rental prices have gone down with them, leaving landlords more at the mercy of their tenants than they have been for years.
Afraid to sell, and well aware that any switched-on business owner who’s noticed there’s a recession going on out there will be looking around to compare prices, landlords know they have to work hard to compete on rental rates if they want to keep their spaces occupied. That is, if their tenants start pushing them on rates.
Which is something that any business owner renting premises should be doing. You have to negotiate your landlord down to the ground.
But before you start, you need to know how to make your bargaining power as effective as it can be.
Start by reading this short feature on how to renegotiate your lease.
(Image: Jim Linwood)