Don’t Go To A Walk-Through
Without Your Broker
Before you actually take possession of a new space, your landlord will ask that you meet him/her at the space. Typically the property manager and, if there were any tenant improvements done, the construction manager will be present. This is called a “walk-through.” The purpose is to make sure the space is prepared properly for you and all the landlord’s work has been completed satisfactorily. Usually, someone will act as “scribe” and take notes of items that need to be addressed in order to make sure the space is totally complete.
Your broker has (hopefully) done this before. He should be able to point out things the landlord would just as well overlook. After the walk-through, the landlord usually presents you with documents stating you’ve accepted the premises and that your lease will commence on the agreed date. If correctly done, there will be an attachment to that document that is referred to as a "punch list."
The punch list includes items the contractor did not complete or did incorrectly. Usually the landlord has a set time (typically between 15-30 days) to complete the punch list items. Items not on the list end up being your cost.
A good broker should not only show up for the walk-through, but should not allow you to sign anything unless it is explained clearly to you, and that the punch list includes all items still needing to be completed.
In one situation, the landlord asked our client to sign a Commencement Date Confirmation without even conducting a walk-through. Not only did we find items that needed to be completed, but by starting the new lease when the landlord stated, it cost the tenant thousands of dollars in rent that they should not have been required to pay until all work was actually completed. Not only could they not actually occupy the premises at that time, but the client would have had to shoulder the future cost to remedy shabby or incorrect construction if the broker had not looked things over.
Again, don't go to a walk-through without your broker.