Flex Space Agreements 101: 8 Things to Consider When Finding and Signing Your Lease
As the working world changes, flexible office space is becoming a massive asset to solo pros, freelancers, satellite teams, and small to mid-sized businesses.
That’s because flex space has quickly eliminated a lot of the archaic aspects of having an office, replacing them with cost-efficiency and flexibility—including lease agreements measured in months rather than years.
And while most coworking space operators strive to make their agreements simple and transparent, these new flexible leases are unfamiliar territory for many people.
So, we’ve compiled a list of eight things to keep in mind when researching and signing your lease to ensure you end up in the perfect situation.
1. Clarity and Wording
This might seem like semantics, but make sure you understand all the verbiage and terminology used in your flex office space agreement. If you’re not sure about a specific word or term, ask for clarification. A great flex space lease agreement will have minimal jargon, but it’s always best to make sure you know exactly who and what are being referred to throughout.
One of the greatest benefits of a flexible workspace—and a flex lease agreement, in turn—is that it allows you the ability to easily scale your space requirements up or down as your business grows or contracts. After all, business is rarely ever a straight line and change is to be expected, so having the flexibility to pivot your office needs with your business needs is a huge plus.
Make sure to confirm what the operator’s policy is for modifying your agreement if, say, you’re hiring team members and need to go from a dedicated desk to a private office.
3. Lease Length and Terms
Make sure you understand exactly what the length and terms of your lease are. For instance, is it month-to-month or are you on a fixed annual term? In many cases, you might find yourself signing on for an initial commitment period followed by the ability to go a month at a time.
4. Start-Up Costs, Deposits, and Fees
In addition to term details, make sure you have a good understanding of any up-front costs, deposits, and fees you might incur. Sometimes, you’ll be required to pay an administrative fee to get you started and to put down a refundable deposit of one month’s rent in addition to your ongoing monthly fees.
It’s also wise to ask about renewal escalations: potential increases in lease prices that can kick in once you renew if the operator has decided to increase their fees. This doesn’t mean they will, but it’s worth knowing if it’s a possibility.
5. Inclusions and Exclusions
Once you’ve decided on a service tier, make sure your agreement defines exactly what that service entails, including any inclusions and exclusions.
This could include things like how and when you’re able to use meeting and event spaces, whether you get access to community events, as well as which areas of the space you have access to and which are private.
You might also want to clarify the kinds of amenities that are included in your agreement, such as printing and scanning, cafe access, and more.
6. Cancellation Policy
Living up to their flexible reputation, most flexible office space operators will let you cancel your lease within a relatively short time window. They usually understand that things can sometimes happen in business that are beyond your control and they don’t want to hold your feet to the fire. In a lot of cases, operators will require between 30 and 90 days of notice to cancel your membership.
7. Hours and Accessibility
Each flexible workspace has its own hours of operation and accessibility, and this often changes depending on your membership type.
For example, many spaces only offer 9-to-5 access, especially for day-pass holders and flex desk members.
At Co-Balt, we believe that flexibility means working when and how you want, so we offer round-the-clock access for all members.
Check whether you need to get any type of tenant’s insurance for your flexible workspace. Generally, operators will have insurance on the building, but this doesn’t always carry over to your own personal property. Definitely make sure you’ve covered on this front!
At Co-Balt, we structure our services and our agreements to make things as simple and flexible as possible for our members. That way, you can feel comfortable knowing that the administrative details are all in order so you can focus on what matters most: getting great work done.
Want to learn more about our services or discuss our flexible workspace lease agreements? Just get in touch today and we’d be happy to have you!