When a tenant vacates a space it can be difficult to anticipate who might backfill them based on the uses the property is best suited for.
So how do landlords decide if they should and shouldn’t spend money on a vacancy in order to get it leased up?
Smell tell signs
There are some obvious times when a landlord touch up may be required when a space goes vacant.
If there has been any use where a lingering smell may put off the majority of tenants, as a landlord you may want to consider putting in the work.
We worked with a landlord who was left with a strong scent after his tire retailer tenant left.
He ended up power washing the porous, concrete floor and re-painting the walls to eliminate the odor.
Even for an industrial setting, it was a strong scent and deterred possible tenancies.
Another example would be office smokers; much less common these days, but can happen in a space that has been occupied for decades.
Paint will help but so will removing any material that could hold smell, such as carpet.
This will greatly improve the showability. In some cases the landlord may have to anticipate a tenant improvement allowance to replace the flooring.
Worse for wear
If a tenant has left a space with damage to the walls or fixtures, it can be a wise move for the landlord to repair, replace or remove.
Fixing holes in drywall, for example, is not a huge expense but can greatly improve a tenant’s first impression.
A toilet that has been better days is an inexpensive thing for a landlord to replace but it can be money well spent in helping a tenant see a more “move in ready” space.
An example where removal might be more appropriate would be an old, broken fixture like an exhaust fan.
Even if a tenant needed a fan, a broken one does them little good.
Toss it and forget it!
Weird, wacky work space
I’ve been in my share of bizarre layouts that suited only very specific tenants.
If it’s hard to get a grasp of the size or the layout, it will not make sense to any else, I say demolish it and start from scratch.
I don’t advocate removing any useable improvements like bathrooms, lighting or suspended ceiling, per se.
But if you need a map to get through the building without getting lost, you might have a layout that’s holding back leasing your space.
Even removing a few walls can be all that is needed.
Sometimes a little effort making a space presentable can make the difference between a short or considerably long vacancy. Isn’t it worth considering?
Posted by Kelly Macsymic