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June 17, 2010
Office Search: How much to pay for Service Charges
The bulk of any office fees will always be the rent. What you pay for the floor space itself will constitute most of what you pay as a whole, but not all of it. Business rates will play a factor as well, as much as £15 a sqft or more depending on the location. That will be determined by the local council and be based on a survey of the building and its surrounding area. The most variable cost within an area, though, will be the service charge. That is the cost of managing the building which is passed on to the tenants. It includes basic services like cleaning, maintenance, utilities and rubbish clearing as well as higher end services like receptions, security, signage and parking. The former of the charges tend to be smaller, a few pounds per square foot. The latter can make a big difference in the cost of your offices.
Since service charges are paid per square foot, it is more important to make sure the charges are well used the larger an office you rent. A change in a few pounds per square foot can mean thousands of pounds a year and can easily make a potential office too expensive. Be sure, then, that a manned reception and 24 hour security is absolutely necessary or if your money is better spent on slightly nicer accommodations. The easiest way to limit your service charge is to rent a self-contained office, which has its own exclusive access. In that way you can bring in most of those services yourself, and make sure you pay only for what services your business needs. Regardless of your choice, remember consider all aspects of the price when relocating to new offices.