Business challenges in the context of signing a contract with an international real estate company and/or directly with a landlord.

A few useful words and expressions:

lease agreement (for office space) – umowa o dzierżawę

landlord – the owner of the property

tenant – najemca, wynajemca, też lokator

lease – dzierżawić; wynajmować 

for example: “This part of the buidling is leased to our tenants”

for example: “He has leased a beautiful apartment in the city centre.”

without just case – bezpodstawnie

evict – eksmitować

read the small print – przeczytać to co jest napisane małą czcionką

fixed-term lease (sometimes called a term lease), a renter (dzierżawca, osoba wynajmująca coś komuś) leases property for a period of time specified by The Lase Agreement. A fixed-term lease may cover any length of time, though the most common terms range from six months to 12 months. For example, in the USA, in many states a fixed-term lease converts automatically to a monthly lease at the end of the term unless the landlord or tenant notifies the other that they plan to end the lease.

It is worth remembering that changing the conditions of the lease during the specified term is difficult. A fixed-term lease guarantees landlords that their proprety remains occupied and guarantees earning income until the term ends. Landlords cannot rise the rent or evict troublesome tenants without just case (bezpodstawnie) during the term lease.*

*/This definition has been taken from:

monthly lease – umowa dzierżawy zawarta na miesiąc

binding agreement – wiążąca umowa

scan – przebiegać wzrokiem (tekst)

papers – dokumenty

extinguisher – gaśnica

put out fire – ugasić pożar

catch fire – zapalić się

flood – 1. powódź; 2. zalać

Angielski biznesowy Konwersacje Business Solutions
fot: Mags

Business challenges. Extinguishers.

An article written by Mags, a Business Practicioner, a Business English Trainer, the15th of May, 2024

There is one thing that will never cease to amaze me. What is it? So many people set up their own businesses. As a result, they do search for office space. Once they find it, they are very happy  though so many of them do not read for example, contracts with companies that lease the office space in very attractive locations.

Renting office space. The case study of Poland.

Sometimes the office space is rented directly for example, from the Polish landlords. Sometimes the Poles spot a beautful building, get excited and sign a contract with an internatiolnal real estate company. In this case, the landlord of the building can be for example, from Germany. The international real estate company organizes marketing and is responsible for financial isssues like 2 months advance payment, etc. Both options are ok. Though, there are a few details we should pay our attention to.

The first one is Civil Liability (in Polsih langauge it is the so called “odpowiedzialność cywlina”)

So where is the problem? As far as I know, lots of people just take a contract, look at it for a few seconds, sign it and that’s it. Many people sign the contract and do not  buy an insurance regarding the civil responsibility regarding the buidling and office space in which they will work. Unfortunately, a lot of people neglect this though it is often written in the contract that it is the repsonsibility of a tenant to do this. This kind of insuarnce is extremely significant, especially in case of fire or flood.

Paying attention to details:

No matter if it is a contract with a Polish landlord or with a big international real estate company, people do not check if:

a) the amount for leasing the office space is nett or gross

b) how high the deposit is and what is the due date /due date – termin płatności/

c) if the payment for renting business space should be done 2 months in advance or 1 month in advance /It is so crucial, especially in case of the so called cash flow that each company would like to have/

d) if the contract is a fixed-term lease or not. If it is fixed-term lease, it means that a tenant has to pay, for example, for 12 months even if there is flood or fire.* /If your contract is not written correctly, you might have serious problems if there is fire or flood so it’s crucial to contact a good lawyer for writing a special appendix that will be a part of the contract/

e) if  parking is included in the amount of lease and/or if there is any possibility to pay extra for a parking place, for example for your clients, especially if you have from 3 to 5 or more clients daily

f) the access to the buidling. It is good to find out if you can have access to the office space 24/7 or only from 8 am till 8 pm. Some companies operate according to the so called regular hours from 8 am to 4 pm though there are still lots of firms that have very flexible working hours. It is worth asking if there is only video surveillance/CCTV or video surveillance?CCTV and a …. security guard. Trust me, it is very crucial, especially when you finish your paper work after 9p.m. or 10 p.m. and leave the office around 10.30 p.m. when there are not so many people in the building.

g) electronic key and a regular key (”old fashioned one”). When we enter a modern building, we are so fascinated by the amazing intereior design that we forget to ask a few questions. For example:  What can happen when the electricty is off? What can happen if there is any problem with the electronic devices responisble for the whole system regarding opening and locking all the doors? Will all the doors open or lock? Hmmm …? That is why, it is really crucial to have both an electronic key and a regular one (the old-fashioned one). It is good to ask for the so called old fashioned key to the main entrance of the buidling. If your clients arrive and there is some kind of breakdown (such as, you are not able to open your office due to different reasons), you can still use the so called coworking space in this buidling, preapre tea/coffee for your client and keep the business  conversation going. 

Why is it worth paying a Health and Safety Officer (HSO) to join us during the first  conversations with real estate companies and/or directly with landlords?

Yes, it costs though it is one of the best investements. Once you contact this kind of specialist you can avoid a lot of problems in the future.

What am I talking about? First of all, this person will check the state of the building including the evacuation exit/exits. The Health and Saftey Officer will pay attention to basic issues like the number of exntinguishers in each room, corridors, etc.

It is advisable to contact lawyers beofre signing a lease agreement? My answer is yes. So many people do not read the small print (in Poland it is called “to co w umowie jest napisane małą czcionką”). A lawyer will take the contract, for example with an international real estate company and will scan it quickly to check if everything is ok. Next, he or she will take this contract to his/her office to continue reading and checking the papers meticulously.

(meticulously – drobiazgowo, skrupulatnie)

Why is it advisibale to contact an experienced fire fighter?

I used to rent office space a few years ago. Thanks to this I can write this artcile for you today. Trust me, I have learned a lot from this leasing experience. What is my advice for all the people who want to lease any office space? Do your best to schedule a meeting with a very expereinced fire fighter. He or she will guide you, will explain what you should pay your attention to, especially when it comes to the safety of the buidling in which you will be working and the safety of you and your clients.

Today, it’s the 15th of May, 2024. There were series of fires in Poland. What were the reasons of each of them …. ????? Let me write: no comments ….

All I want to say is that it is really vital to read all the papers before signing an agreement with any international real estate company and/or directly with a landlord.

On top of that, it is good to be very vigiliant /czujny, baczny) when it comes to the environment in which we do business on a regular basis.

I know, it is a very tough topic as it requires a lot of time and effort to preapare well for leasing office space.

Anyway, good luck!

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