So you need to find some office space to rent in Malta? The local papers and Malta real estate websites will probably find you several options to consider, but there are a number of things you must think of before committing yourself to renting office space.
Location – think of all aspects on the issue of location. How far is the office from your home? Will you and your team need to travel a long distance to get there every day? Is the location ideal for your clients? Is the location ideal for your business’ or professions’ reputation? Is it as central as you need it to be? Is it too central, or too isolated?
If you are in doubt, travel to and from the aspired-for office at different times of the day and on different days of the week so that you will gauge all these elements. This will help you evaluate things such as – a reasonable rent that has to be pumped up with costly travelling expenses versus a high rent that allows you to walk to your new office and back, thus removing the need to buy fuel or pay transport facilities.
Parking – if your trade/services require frequent visits by others to your office, will these visitors/clients find parking space available at all times? Check basic things such as whether the office space is close to a school, a factory, a weekly market site etc. All these will greatly influence the issue of parking space availability. You may find that the office is part of a building that includes indoor garage space which you might be able to use for a few vehicles. On the other hand, you may find the office is close to a busy bus stop which could be useful to some of your clients, your staff and to yourself.
Facilities – if you are renting office space in Malta within an office complex you must check what facilities you will be able to enjoy – kitchenette, restroom, smoking room, receptionist services, lift, intercom facilities, internet facilities, telephone, cleaning services, etc. You must take all these in consideration when calculating costs.
Bills – check whether your rent includes any water and electricity bills, cleaning bills, lift maintenance bills, etc. If you will be availing yourself of any internet or receptionist services, then you have to check if these will incur extra overheads for you.
If you are renting out your own independent office space in a private property, you have to check whether you will have the right to use it as an office in the first place. For this, you would need a Commercial Permit – and be sure to ask your Landlord for proof of permit. Should you be misled, you may find a few hassles will be waiting for you further down the line, including relocating yet again. An apartment in a block of flats occupied by private owners – namely families – may also not be ideal to use as an office as if you get a lot of traffic (read “people”) circulating within the apartment’s common areas, the other owners may object to this. To avoid problems, it may suit you better to choose a ground floor apartment, maisonette or small house that is independent of any other joint ownership, has its own front door and no interference from outsiders.
Check the condition of the property for faults such as blocked drains, faulty water communications, inadequate electricity supply, pending bills and so on. If the property requires extensive repair or whitewashing for instance, then you can bargain with the owner to let you have a reduction in the rent to help cover your initial expenses. Discuss whether you will have to fix problems yourself after you enter in the rental agreement or whether the owner will fix the problems before you enter in any agreement.
Do take your time to view different office spaces in Malta before making your choice as you will be requested to sign a contract. Be careful before committing yourself to long-let contracts and if in doubt show the contract to your Malta real estate agent, notary or lawyer to be better advised on all the pros and cons involved in such a commitment.
Written by Marika Azzopardi
Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.