Analysis of the Occupier Satisfaction Survey 2011 carried out by GVA Ltd revealed an overall happiness score of 5.4 out of 10 among business owners – a marked improvement on last year’s score.
The national survey of tenants of commercial space, highlighted distinct differences between types of occupiers. With small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reporting satisfaction levels of 55% whereas large companies, using large office space and retail units, were more content at 64%.
Although, this gap in satisfaction -between the sizes of companies renting commercial property- now appears to be reducing, since the first survey in 2007. Darren Yates, commercial research team partner at Knight Frank, has put the onus on landlords to improve satisfaction among tenants for office space.
He recommended the landlords should be more flexible, responding more effectively to the concerns of office tenants or allowing tenants to pay rents once a month instead of demanding payment quarterly in advance basis, as required by conventional leasehold.
Mr Yates, commenting on the survey results noted: "the downturn has put occupiers in the driving seat in the last month in terms of negotiations", which has led to an improvement in the overall experiences of tenants. However, in some buoyant property markets such as office space in central London or the "absolute top shopping centres", there is "an excess of demand over supply" and it is therefore easier for landlords to raise rents and control negotiations across all classes of property, the importance of and concern with sustainability is growing among tenants for commercial property.
Many occupiers responded that they were interested in a 'green' workplace, however fewer were satisfied with the level of engagement on environmental issues by their landlords.
Overall, tenants were happiest with the leasing process, scoring this area 6.2 out of 10 for satisfaction, compared with just 4.3 for the transparency of their landlords’ service charge arrangements, concluded the survey by CoreNET Global.