Ways Property Managers Can Help Their Tenants Open Safely during COVID-19

A Note on COVID-19

The Clarity Commercial team is watching the COVID-19 pandemic closely and is following all guidelines from the CDC and the State of Minnesota. Our team is stepping up hand hygiene and practicing social distancing to help slow down the spread of the virus and ensure we are healthy and able to serve you and your properties through the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any public health crisis we have faced in our lifetimes. Over the last three months, many businesses in Minnesota moved to remote work or were forced to shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. Now, Governor Walz is slowly reopening the state, and many businesses are back to work.

But back to work does not mean back to normal. Businesses are required to work at 50 percent occupancy and take precautions to ensure the health and safety of their staff and patrons. This can be an enormous task for small businesses. Property managers are in an excellent position to lend a hand and be an advisor for their tenants. Here is how a property manager can help tenants open safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understand Who Is Allowed to Reopen When

On May 18, Governor Walz’s Stay Safe order went into effect, allowing many businesses to reopen under strict circumstances. Businesses that were allowed to reopen included retail stores, malls, and businesses that sell, rent, maintain, or repair goods.

Bars and restaurants could continue to be open for delivery and takeout service only. Hair salons, spas, tattoo parlors, and nail salons are not allowed to reopen until June 1. Additionally, companies whose staffs were working remotely must continue to do so.

Help Tenants Enforce Social Distancing Rules

Enforcing social distancing within a business requires some planning. Offer to help your tenants reconfigure their break rooms, shop floors, office space, and retail floors to ensure staff and patrons can maintain at least six feet of distance. Some businesses will need to limit the number of people in their space at one time, which may include staggering work schedules and asking patrons to wait in their cars until it is safe to enter.

Temporary signage is a helpful tool for enforcing social distancing. Wayfinding signs and floor decals can help keep people six feet apart and inform people of a tenant’s social distancing policies. Offer to help source these items for your tenants using your own professional network.

Support Tenants’ Efforts to Sanitize Their Spaces

Maintaining a healthy and sanitary space will be another top priority for your tenants. They will need to frequently clean high-touch surfaces such as door handles and point-of-sale devices and provide hand sanitizer for staff and patrons. Many will require staff members to wear masks and wash their hands frequently.

Property managers can support their tenants’ efforts to maintain clean and safe spaces. Ensure your team is cleaning and sanitizing common areas frequently, including lobbies, meeting rooms, and bathrooms. Consider how you can make it easier for your tenants to purchase hand sanitizer, cleaning products, and masks.

Keeping our community healthy and safe is everyone’s responsibility. Property managers can play their part by supporting their tenants as they reopen safely. For more information about how Clarity Commercial can support you and your business during this time, contact us today.

 

5 Tips for Negotiating Commercial Lease Renewals

Much can be found online to help tenants negotiate favorable leases. But fewer resources exist for landlords when it is time for them to negotiate a commercial lease renewal. Clarity Commercial works with property owners to help them secure lease renewals from their tenants. Here are a few of our team’s tips for making sure your interests are protected in the process.

1. Standardize Your Lease Forms

Standardizing your lease forms has several benefits. First, it saves you a lot of time that you might otherwise spend recreating lease agreements. Work with your attorney to create one or two lease agreements with standardized language and terms. Then, when it is time for a tenant to renew their lease, you can simply provide them your standardized form and trust that you have the details and contingencies covered.

2. Offer Long Lease Terms

Longer lease terms can save you time and money. They guarantee that you will have steady monthly income coming in from your properties over three to ten years without having to continually fill space with new tenants, which can be costly. Longer lease terms also benefit tenants who wish to maximize their investment in renovations and other tenant improvements.

3. Consider Relocation Rights

If you own a commercial property with multiple suites, a relocation rights clause can help you make sure you are managing that property in the most efficient way possible. Sometimes, it is necessary to ask a tenant to move spaces to accommodate another tenant who wishes to expand or downsize their space. Adding a relocation rights clause to your lease agreements can give you the right as a landlord to ask tenants to relocate to another suite in your property.

4. Offer a Triple Net Lease to Cover Common Area Maintenance

Determining maintenance costs should not cause headaches when it is time for you to renew a lease. We encourage many property owners to offer triple net leases to tenants, which offers a better return to landlords than the flat fees included in modified gross leases. However, calculating maintenance costs for a triple net lease can be difficult, so work with an experienced property management company like Clarity Commercial to maximize your ROI.

5. Protect Your Interests When Offering Tenant Improvement Allowances

It is common for landlords to negotiate improvement allowances with tenants to help them cover the costs of renovations. Offering allowances for tenant improvements can help you attract and retain long-term tenants. To protect your investment in tenant improvements, you can choose to stipulate that you will own any permanent fixtures and improvements your tenants make if and when they move out of their space. Or, you can ask tenants to use contractors you trust to perform the work.

Commercial lease renewals do not have to be time-consuming or cumbersome. Let Clarity Commercial take care of the legwork for you. For help managing your commercial leasing, contact our team today