To Lease or Not to Lease

by Mike Hunter

Lease management software company Visual Lease recently surveyed more than 100 commercial tenants to see how they have been impacted, any payments they withheld or concessions they have been offered, and how the pandemic is impacting their future leasing plans.

According to the survey:

  • Thirty percent of respondents stated that 75–100 percent of their company’s leased real estate properties are unoccupied due to COVID-19.
  • Sixty-six percent paid rent on at least a portion of unoccupied properties and 47 percent paid rent on all unoccupied properties.
  • Fifty-one percent have or are planning to seek rent concessions, including rent abatement, reduction or deferral.
  • One third plan to reduce facilities and commercial offices leases.
  • Sixty-three percent are evaluating “Options Clauses” in their leases for potential cost savings (e.g., renewals, terminations, downsizing and relocation); other clauses being considered include late fee, force majeure, bankruptcy, right to go dark and more.
  • Sixty-two percent plan to go to partial or full remote workforce post-pandemic, making them reconsider their leases and plans to get out of leases.

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