What is a Lease Audit?
It is a detailed review and analysis of a Tenant's unique lease documents and landlord billings to ensure compliance with lease terms, accounting standards and industry practices.
Are you certain than your landlords have accounted for the favorable language you worked so hard to negotiate into your leases?
Lease Audits often result in the identification and recovery of substantial historical overcharges, while also preventing these overcharges from recurring in the future.
Why Lease Audits are Necessary
In many companies, reimbursements for a business lunch or even a stapler typically require multiple levels of approval. Understanding that Real Estate costs are generally a company's second or third largest expense, it is ironic that these costs often receive minimal scrutiny.
Many landlords do not bill each Tenant according to their individually negotiated lease terms, but instead follow the building's standard lease which could be materially different from yours. Are you certain than your landlords have accounted for the favorable language you worked so hard to negotiate into your leases?
Landlord billings typically lack the detail to allow for any meaningful analysis. Therefore, the most effective and efficient way of fulfilling your fiduciary responsibilities is to engage a highly specialized Lease Audit firm to provide the assurance your stakeholders require.
A Lease Audit must be conducted by the right individual with the right experience and skills.
Why You Should Trust CRE Advisory Services
A Lease Audit must be conducted by the right individual with the right experience and skills, who applies a professional approach that is respected in the industry. At CRE, we are experienced and fully dedicated Lease Audit professionals with decades of relevant experience. Our co-founding Principal Lance Duke is a CPA, CA. This designation is often a requirement in your lease to conduct the Lease Audit.
Our clients generally have portfolios of leased space in the US and Canada. We regularly travel to conduct our work effectively and efficiently and can service your North American portfolio.
Don't take our word for it! Please contact us and we would be happy to provide you with references.
How CRE works with you
Your involvement can be as little or as much as you want. We keep all update calls short and to the point, with a concise report sent in advance. We understand that time is the most precious commodity and always seek to minimize your involvement where appropriate. You can rest assured that we will always abide by our Code of Conduct.
What is our Process?
The information we initially require (leases and landlord billings) is usually already scanned and readily available. We will review all of the information and supply you with an initial portfolio report with our recommendations. With your input, we will tailor a Lease Audit program that suits your needs.
With your input, we will tailor a Lease Audit program that suits your needs.
Once we have completed our review of the landlord's books and records, we report our findings to you. We will make recommendations and seek your approval for the strategy we would like to implement in order to recover the identified overcharges. We are able to consistently realize material savings for our clients, while preserving the always important landlord and Tenant relationship.
We also ensure that any future savings are properly captured in any agreements with the landlord to help ensure overcharges are avoided in the future. We will never take the 'throw spaghetti and see what sticks' approach - which is by far the number one complaint of landlords.
Lease Negotiation Services
"You can't afford not to have us on your side!"
We review all lease documentation, concentrating on the
"hidden financial impact"
of the wording of leases.
We have collectively reviewed tens of thousands of leases over our careers - likely many more than the experts you currently rely on to negotiate your leases. Our expertise compliments the services provided by your leasing agent and solicitor. Be sure to read our article about Selecting The Right Team.
We are aware of the current trends and industry standards in commercial lease language and can easily identify areas of your lease that would adversely affect your bottom line. Our prior experiences working for commercial landlords allows us to truly understand the landlord's point of view, thereby seeing the negotiation from both perspectives.
Offers to Lease and Lease
We review all lease documentation, concentrating on the "hidden financial impact" of the wording of leases. We regularly recommend language changes to lease clauses including but not limited to:
- Operating Cost Inclusions and Exclusions
- After Hours HVAC clauses
- Proportionate share definitions
- Lease Audit and Review of the landlord's books and records
- Dispute resolution mechanisms
- Restoration provisions
Renewal or Relocation
Consistent with entering into a new lease, we are an integral member to your multi-disciplinary team. When making decisions whether to renew or relocate, we can help analyze and compare additional rents to ensure a fair comparison is made between the available options. Once a decision has been made, we will provide our input regarding favourable lease language.
Due Diligence - Mergers and Acquisitions
"You can't afford not to have us on your side!"
Recognizing that Real Estate is one of the two or three largest corporate expenses, it is important to understand the associated opportunities and risks regardless of whether you're buying or selling a company.
We review the portfolio lease documentation and report our findings which can include:
- Identification of termination rights and financial exposure
- Rights to expand/contract
- Analysis of restoration provisions
- Identification of outstanding security deposits, letters of credit and guarantees
Real World Example?
Please see our insight, Acquisition Synergies Gone Wrong.