Applying for a tenant improvement permit in Vancouver BC.
Top of any checklist when your starting a new business is the identification of the perfect working space that permits your business to grow and serves all needs you may have. Many commercially rented spaces are marketed as unfurnished, or are in need of a certain level of customization before the client moves in.
You may want to create a cafe in a space that once housed a garage, or develop offices with seperate rooms in a space that is currently open-plan. However, you are unsure as to whether you are permitted to carry out this work, and whether you should have to pay for the work considering it is not your property. This is where tenant improvements come into play, with the creation of a clause within the rental contract that permits clients and landlords to agree terms before necessary improvement works are undertaken.
In a tenant improvement agreement, the Client and landlord reach a compromise about the improvement works which includes who completes the design, who carries out the improvements, by what date the work should be completed and who will pay for it. Included in the lease contract for any development of this type there would be a clause that addresses the issues, entitles “improvements and alterations”.
One common agreement between clients and tenants is for the landlord to provide the client with a sum known as a tenant improvement allowance, or TIA for short, which represents the amount that the landlord is willing to provide for the works.
In Vancouver, the process of applying for a permit to carry out works of this type, called the tenant improvement permit system (TIPS) is relatively straightforward. Works of this type require a permit, which can be obtained from the city of Vancouver council.
The city has 35 staff to handle applications at its one-stop counter at the Development and Building Services Centre. The council also runs a fast track system for tenant improvements in a list of over 700 buildings which are deemed as code compliant.
The process can be summarized as follows:
Any TIPS project in vancouver are required to comply with the energy requirements of the Vancouver Building Bylaw. You can find more info about these requirements and exemptions here. The list of compliant buildings was recently updated to reflect changes in the 2014 building bylaw.
If you are thinking about moving into new premises and want to clarify whether or not you would need a permit to carry out tenant improvement works in your new premises, any info can be found from the city of Vancouver website. Here at Makam construction, we are always happy to help with with any queries you may have, so feel free to get in touch with us if you are considering starting a tenant improvement project.
Four tenant improvement ideas to improve your office space with MAKAM.
Having a customized, bespoke workspace that both reflects your company culture and enhances the productivity of your team is essential for the success of any business. If your in rented property, you may not realise that your are entitled to negotiate with your landlord a contact clause called a “tenant improvement agreement” which permits you to make changes to rented property that suit your plans.
MAKAM specialise in organising and carrying out tenant improvements for clients of a wide variety of types. In this article, some great and effective ideas to successfully enhance your workspace are briefly discussed. If you have any questions about the ideas we suggest, or are ready to start a new project with us, we’d be delighted to hear from you and arrange a consultation.
Installation of Communication Systems
We live in an age when time equals money, and there's nothing worse than losing time due to outdated communications equipment in you office space. Utilising older systems can waste hours of staff time, leading to a reduction in the productivity of your business.
The installation of the newest fibre-optic technology into any office space is a basic step to ensure that your business remains competitive. This process is relatively straightforward and low-cost. Other typical improvements to communication systems that can enhance your office include the installation of state of the art communication rooms with video conferencing, installation of telephones and integrated email systems.
Make an Office Comfortable with better furniture
Having a comfortable workspace is essential to ensure high levels of productivity and efficiency in you workspace. Recent growing awareness for the importance wellness of staff for company productivity has lead to many trends for the installation of innovative furniture in office spaces. One such example is the furnishing of offices with ergonomic chairs, which support the backs of staff who spend a lot of time sitting.
Taking the human user in mind during the design process means that in many new office spaces, meeting rooms can double up as yoga rooms in the evening, kitchens include healthy food and even the furniture is re-invented to promote a healthy lifestyle. In many offices, chairs have been replaced by treadmills at desks and outdoor rest-spaces have been added to permit workers to relax during lunch breaks. Wellness rooms and napping spaces are other improvements that can be added to improve company productivity.
Develop existing space to promote collaboration
Many recent studies have shown the positive effects of open plan office spaces. A design option previously limited to design studios and cow-working spaces, the benefit of open-plan offices for company productivity has been embraced by many professional services including law companies and real-estate offices.
The development of a traditional, compartmentalised office space into an open-plan space can be relatively easy to achieve, and may be as simple as removing internal partition walls.
It should go without saying that your workspace forms part of your company identity. A clean, trendy and stylish workplace that promotes the culture of your company can have the same effect as thousands of dollars spent on marketing and promotion. To that end, it is essential to get your image just right. Your workplace essentially is your calling card. There are some great and cost effective ways to enhance your branding that can develop any dull and tired space quickly.
A change in the color scheme of an office space can completely alter the perception of your company by clients. Recent studies have proven the positive effects of coloured work spaces. The use of colour in an office space has been proven to have a direct impact on the way staff think and feel. For example, the use of vibrant greens in offices has been shown to lead to broader thinking.
A small change in lighting can alter the atmosphere of any space significantly. If you work in an older office space that hasn't been renovated in the past 15 years, chances are that you work in a space with harsh fluorescent lighting that creates a cold, unpleasant space to work. Recessed led uplighters can create a soft, natural lighting, enhancing both the atmosphere of the office and the productivity of the staff.
To create the exact image, a tenant may need to complete more thorough changes in the space, including the removal of internal partition walls or the installation of improved glazing. All of these can be achieved under a tenant improvement permit, and should be negotiated with your landlord to establish who pays for the work.
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Great reasons to set up your new business in Vancouver with the friendly help of MAKAM
So, you’ve done the hard part! You’ve had a fantastic idea for a new startup, you have the funding and now your looking for an equally great place to call home. The city of Vancouver is an exciting place to set up your new business at the moment, and the city has seen major growth in the past ten years.
Here at MAKAM construction, we have already helped numerous client start their new venture, ranging from the opening of new dentists surgery to lawyers offices and other professional spaces. In this article, we explain five of the best reasons why to set up your business in Vancouver, and how we can help you along the way with the renovation and customization of your new workspace.
Great quality of life
Vancouver was the only North American city to break into the top 10 of the Mercer rankings for the quality of life in cities around the world. Ranked as the American city with the highest quality of life, Vancouver was rated 5th in the world by the study.
The judges for the Mercer survey suggested that the large number of open spaces in Vancouver combined with its numerous and varied cultural centres make it a great place to live and work.
Most sustainable city in the world by 2020
Mayor of Vancouver Gregor Robertson is a supporter of creating sustainable cities, and recently launched a campaign to develop Vancouver into the greenest city in the world by 2020. Many studies have shown that sustainable cities are great, healthy places to live, making a move to Vancouver a very enticing proposal.
In 2017, Vancouver's economic growth was forecast as 2.4%, making it amongst the fastest growing metropolitan economies in Canada. Employment growth was forecast to be at around 14,000. The construction, finance and real-estate industries were all predicted to make attractive gains, making the city an ideal place to set up a new business or get onto the property investment ladder.
Great government support
Vancouver city council make the process of setting up a business very straightforward, and any resources needed throughout the process can be found on their website.
The process of applying for a tenant improvement permit (TIP) in Vancouver is equally straightforward. Works of this type require a permit, which can be obtained from the city of Vancouver council.
Apart from the ease of the process of setting up your new business, the British Columbia Government have introduced more than 100% tax cuts in the past eight years, meaning that the region now has some of the lowest taxes in North America.
MAKAM can help you with all stages of the project. If your thinking of carrying out improvements in a rented property, you’ll need to get a tenant improvement agreement with your landlord. We specialize in this process, and will be here to help you through it.
If the above points have whetted your appetite, and your ready to make your first steps in setting up a business in Vancouver and developing quality office space, contact us today to arrange a consultation with one of our friendly and experienced staff.
We're a Richmond-based general contractor and builder. We offer interior construction and renovation management services throughout the Vancouver area. If you're looking for that kind of thing, please give us a shout - we'd love to talk!