Lease audits are a great tool for tenants to manage lease costs. Lease audits help you identify possible inconsistencies in the operating expenses and CAM charge amounts levied on tenants by the landlord. These include-
- Incorrect square footage calculations
- Faulty base year calculations
- Duplicate/irregular invoicing
Yet, sometimes, tenants tend to skip their annual lease audits. The reasons vary and range from lack of resources to assuming the landlord’s calculations to be accurate anyway. However, lease audits must be performed regularly and preferably via a professional lease auditor. Here are some reasons why.
Professional Lease Auditors bring expertise: Tenants that have an in-house lease administration team often think they can be utilized for the lease audit function as well, since the two are closely connected. However, to perform effective lease audits, you need very specific skills. Unlike the usual lease abstraction or administration tasks, lease audit involves scrutinizing every invoice, a perusal of the landlord’s expense reports in connection to the premises, reconciling payments and advances with bank statements and so on. It also involves interpreting the amounts invoiced in the context of the clauses in the lease.
Lease audits are time-consuming: This task not only requires a keen eye for detail but also a lot of patience and an in-depth understanding of lease accounting and lease language. The whole process of lease auditing is time-intensive and your existing resources may be too busy to invest their undivided attention into the audit.
Liaising with stakeholders: Lease audits entail communicating with the landlord and other stakeholders to get access to the required information, so the audit can be performed effectively. Your staff may not have the time to reach out to the landlord and other stakeholders, and they might also be more receptive to hearing from a third party than from the tenant’s office.
Lease auditing firms can lend extra credibility to your claims: Sometimes, the tenant and landlord may not agree on the audit results and the matter may end up in litigation. However, an experienced lease auditing firm will be adept at handling such instances and may help salvage the situation by helping both parties arrive at an amicable resolution without litigation. Also, in the event of discrepancies, when you have a reputed lease audit firm advocating for you, matters are more likely to be resolved sooner and amicably as there’s more credibility.
RE BackOffice is a strategic partner providing end-to-end lease administration and accounting services, including lease audits. We offer scalable, affordable and accurate lease accounting and administration services to optimize your lease portfolio and related processes. Please contact us today to learn more.