Office… through a Magnifying Glass

Too often tenants rely on first impressions as they assess their future office, inspecting only obvious things like whether there are no cracks in window glasses, whether heating radiators work fine, and whether there are no scratches on furnishings. Yet other things are more important, specifically the office’s technical characteristics. If there is not enough air to breathe inside, employees will definitely want to run away and no glittering furnishings or three-layer insulated glazing will save the day. There is only one way out: requesting the owner to provide detailed technical characteristics at the earliest stage of acquaintance with the premises. Artem Panteleev, Business Development Director of Gint-M, dwelled on proper acceptance of an office facility from the owner, as part of Admin Breakfast organized by Kinnarps.

According to the expert, all technical specifications are to be formalized as a supplement to the contract – they must be part of the deal and in no way should they be just oral arrangements. “Believe me: this approach will allow avoiding serious mistakes and will make your life in the office maximally comfortable. You were promised the air parameters at the level of 60 cubic meters per hour and after relocation you suddenly discover only 20? If 60 cu. m is the figure specified in the contract, then all you need is writing a letter to the landlord and demanding what was promised. It does not matter whether he will have to change the entire ventilation system or provide other premises for you with the stated parameters. But if the figure is not stipulated in the contract, you’ll have to live with 20, or look for a new office at your own expense,” stated the expert.

Furthermore, the tenant must take utmost care in how he signs the acceptance act. This procedure should not be accomplished independently without builders. “In most cases a tenant examines the facility, finds five flaws and signs the act himself. But then comes a contractor and finds another 25 flaws. What does this mean? This means that the flaw correction expenses will be incurred by the tenant, whereas in case the premises were accepted with the contractor, these expenditures could be shifted to the landlord,” said Mr. Panteleev. “Or suppose the premises were accepted, but the act was drawn incorrectly, without much detailing, and a month after the repair the tenant discovers that there are only 15 fire sensors instead of 20. Where are the rest five? Stolen or in a state of disrepair? And who will pay for this misfortune? The tenant, to be sure, because he did not take pain to specify the figure 20 in the act.” As a matter of fact, in many cases general contractors have a lot of comments literally on all parameters of the future office: from deformed doors to cracked frames; yet the tenant is not always capable of taking note, in the lack of proper expertise. Therefore, refusing the help of general contractors, the tenant makes his life harder and increases his budget.

According to the expert, at the stage of signing a lease the capacity of utility systems dedicated for a specific facility should be checked very carefully, along with connection points, compliance of as-builts with the actual solutions, the works execution rules in offices, the fullness and relevance of the acceptance act.