Whether you are starting a new business in London, relocating your current premises or even expanding into the UK’s capital city, there will come a point where you need to decide on your working space. There are plenty of things to think about – buying an office here would certainly be prestigious and with the UK property market still expanding, there’s potential that it could be a smart investment. But ultimately it may well be true that renting an office in London is your best bet. Here are some of the benefits for renting space instead of buying.
The prohibitive costs of buying
The truth is that buying any sort of commercial property in the capital has become exceptionally expensive. You would need to have a substantial amount to put down initially as a deposit and you would also face very large, inflexible repayment charges. With renting there is no need to commit yourself to putting down that kind of capital and additionally this frees up cash to spend on more important parts of the business. Unless you are absolutely certain or your long term future in London, buying commercial office space probably does not represent good value for money for your business.
Committing yourself to buying a property also means you will be tied to staying in the same location for many years to come. It’s important to remember that flexibility can be absolutely essential to a business – with the best will in the world you can never know exactly how the market will change or how your company will move on. Tying yourself to office space like that can remove a lot of your versatility and make it difficult for you to expand quickly or tighten in response to the market.
All the benefits, none of the drawbacks
No-one would deny that there are excellent benefits that come from owning commercial premises in London. Whether it’s the natural prestige of London offices, the proximity to other thriving and growing businesses or the access to the exceptionally talented labour market, London is a brilliant place to be based. But renting an office here gives you all of those advantages without the drawbacks of the high costs and the inflexibility. If you want to have an office in London, renting is undoubtedly the simplest and quickest way to get the benefits.
Renting office space in London is an enormously popular option for many businesses based in the capital. Because of this there is a very large amount of commercial office space available for hire giving a huge variety of options available to you. If you are thinking of buying it might be the case that the kind of property that you are looking for simply isn’t available at the time you are looking to make the move. This could ultimately mean you have to change your plans or compromise and not getting exactly what you want.
No ownership responsibilities
Owning commercial property means that you are responsible for everything about the building. This includes maintenance and security as well as furnishings and appliances. Having to deal with this is another expense that you need to add to the overall cost of running the business. Perhaps even more important is the fact that you’ll need to dedicate time to dealing with any issues that arise, which can take you away from working on your business. When you rent your office space you can enjoy the additional freedom and know that someone else is dealing with those issues. It also takes a lot of pressure away from you.
Remove the risk
While the property market is still in a strong position at the moment, it should also be noted that it can be very volatile. Before you make any plans to buy commercial property you need to be aware that the value could fall depending on what happens to the area or property prices in general. Renting office space means you don’t have to play the property market and take on that extra risk.
[About the author: Mike James is an independent content writer working together with Stuart Neils – a leading firm of surveyors with over forty years’ experience in commercial property, including the leasing of office spaces within London and across the UK.]