Question: Who pays for Tenant Improvements (TI)?
I am asked this question many times especially by tenants who have special requirements for their businesses to run effectively. When I work as a Tenant Representative, I completely understand the customer’s concern because I know that it is virtually impossible to find office or industrial space that is exactly what your business needs. There is almost always some kind of modification to the site that must be done to make the property make sense. Examples of the most common Improvements are: Adding Walls, Removing Walls, Adding Electrical Outlets, Plumbing, New Flooring or Paint to name a few.
Landlords “almost always” have some budget already included in their yearly rental rate for “TI”, but they rarely offer to do those improvements out right. It is up to the tenant to request that the landlord make the improvements on their behalf “at no additional cost.” Impossible? No. Improbable? Of Course not. You will be surprised how much is already budgeted for improvements that tenants do not receive because of “Lack of Knowledge” and in many cases because of “Lack of Representation.”
When you work with a professional Tenant Representative they will fight on your behalf and know what to ask for and how to ask for it. There may be some expenses that may be considered as upgrades to what landlords have in their budgets but as I always say: “If you don’t ask you will never know.”