Right now, businesses across the globe are facing huge challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an enormous loss of income to businesses and the pressure to operate efficiently is higher than ever before. Businesses are adopting various measures, including drastic pay-cuts and lay-offs to stay profitable or even just to stay afloat. Another option that can contribute significantly towards lowering operating costs and boosting efficiency is lease audits.
Lease auditing is the process of analyzing the key terms of the lease and related documents to ensure the landlord has billed the tenant accurately and not overcharged them in case of expenses such as tenant’s share of operating costs, taxes, utilities, CAM, rent escalations, per-square feet rent calculations, etc. Other than these key areas, lease audits also help ensure key opportunities such as renewal, expansion options are not missed out. An effective lease audit entails a thorough review of various documents apart from the lease itself, including invoices, bank statements, payment receipts, and even documents in the public domain, at times.
Lease audits offer significant benefits to both the Landlord and the Tenant. Landlords usually perform lease audits to ensure they are not under-charging their retail tenants that have percentage rent clauses in their leases. However, lease audits are especially important from the tenant’s perspective, primarily because the onus of identifying and reporting incorrect charges lies with the tenant and not the Landlord. Moreover, most leases have a timeframe within which erroneous billing must be reported. If the timeline lapses, the tenant is deemed to have accepted the charges levied upon them. Further, if the lease has a clause wherein the charges are escalated based on the previous year’s charges, then the escalation will be applicable on the inflated amount and the cycle continues causing the tenant to lose thousands of dollars annually. There have been cases where lease audits have helped tenants cut their operating expenses by as much as 70%!
When businesses sign a lease agreement, a lot of thought has gone into it in terms of determining the financial viability of the lease. Somewhere down the line, perhaps due to lack of resources, on-going maintenance of the lease takes a backseat and the inaccuracies creep in so silently that businesses fail to realize that the lease is no longer in line with their expected ROI projections. A lease audit can help fix this. If you are short on resources to perform yearly lease audits and related tasks, it makes sense to collaborate with an experienced lease administration vendor who can offer these services for you. Most tenants see that the ROI on their lease audits often outweighs the expense it entails by a great deal.
About RE BackOffice
RE BackOffice, Inc. is a premier provider of strategic commercial real estate back-office functions, including lease abstraction, lease administration, and real estate marketing services. Since 2006, REBO has been a trusted partner to top-tier commercial real estate companies, retailers, and service providers seeking a strategic advantage. Whether managing a portfolio of leases or providing graphic support through stacking plans, renderings and websites, RE BackOffice’s team of professionals is dedicated to delivering high-quality services and optimal ROI to our clients. At RE BackOffice, your back office – is our front office.