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Do you want to alter your business premises but are anxious about red tape?

Many businesses take out a lease on commercial premises to find later down the line that the building no longer suits their requirements as they grow. According to property management companies, however, this needn’t always mean searching for new premises all over again.

Providing the current site offers reasonable flexibility and space for alterations, it is sometimes better for businesses to stay put and modify their existing building than to risk losing an ideal location favoured by customers and suppliers.

Planning permission is not always required if you would like to alter the inside of a commercial property or carry out minor changes to the outside. However, the details of your lease need to be checked as you may need to seek the consent of your landlord before embarking on any alterations.

Unless there’s a clause in the lease which clearly prohibits improvements, a landlord should agree to reasonable improvements but businesses should clarify whether they are required to return the premises to their original (pre-alteration) state before the agreement ends.

Many property management companies offer site development services to support businesses when they wish to make changes to their rented commercial premises in some way. As experienced commercial property experts, they can discuss the legal implications of such changes as well as budget constraints and the likely impact on the business as well as negotiate with the landlord to obtain consent.

Peter Knight, managing director of Manchester-based property and construction consultancy Knight Site Solutions Ltd, said: “Using the services of a property management consultancy before you sign a lease on new premises will ensure that there is room to manoeuvre in the future should you wish to extend or alter the existing layout to improve your business. We can also manage any alterations you choose to make later down the line from advising you whether the proposed works are likely to increase your rateable value and agreeing consent with your landlord, to appointing reputable contractors and ensuring the work meets budget requirements”.

“Appointing an experienced property management company to oversee your project will minimise the risk exposed to your business and ensure that it meets all of its legal requirements including environmental and health and safety. We will always look to maximise development value and will take on the burden of planning bureaucracy, lease negotiation and construction so our clients are free to focus on other aspects of their business.”

Property Aspects Magazine appreciates the contribution to this article from Property sourcing and management specialists Knight Site Solutions in Manchester