Office Furniture, Fixtures & Computer Networking: Landlord’s Responsibility?

06 March, 2018 / Alan Rosinsky
An empty modern office with lounge chairs in the foreground.

Let’s say you’ve spent tireless weeks hunting down the perfect office space in New York City. You’ve successfully negotiated the lease terms and ensured the fine print aligns with your business requirements. However, you have yet to sign on the dotted line and fully commit. Before your dream office space transitions from idea to action, you have a very important question to answer. Who takes care of furniture, fixtures, or network systems? Welcome to the crossroads of tenant and landlord responsibilities.

Many wonder about the financial responsibility of turning an empty office into a practical workspace – furniture, internet cabling, phone lines, and all. Let’s examine this further.

Internet & Computer Wiring

Just picture it: you’ve inked the deal on your Manhattan office lease. There’s a utility closet on each floor, the lifeline for telecom services. You’ve locked in a contract with Verizon or Time Warner to lay internet cabling from the closet to your workspace at no extra charge. But where does the landlord’s responsibility ends?

Well, it often halts right there. While the utility company installs the internet wiring, you, the tenant, must set up the internal network. This responsibility typically means installing cables or setting up WiFi networks throughout your office.

However, those considering subleasing, short-term rentals, or coworking spaces may have it easier. These spaces often come with ready-to-use cabling or WiFi networks. While coworking spaces are consistently wired and more expensive for larger teams, subleases may or may not have this advantage.

Phone Systems

Your new Manhattan office awaits with the sound of phone line installations resonating from the utility closet. However, where are the physical phones or routers to connect you to the world?

Technological strides have changed business communication. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) systems have become popular, but are they included in your landlord’s responsibility? Generally, the answer is no. Landlords will not wire a space. They will allow the utility to bring the wiring into the premises but they don’t do it. It’s often up to you, the tenant, to decide on the actual phone system.

The choice and associated costs depend on your specific needs for VOIP or traditional landlines. Hence, chatting with your telecom provider is a good starting point to avoid unforeseen costs.

Yet, remember: options abound. Sublets or executive suites frequently come pre-wired for phone services—a plus point to consider.

Office Furniture

Stepping into your new, empty office, the lack of furniture might surprise you. Normally, providing furniture falls on the tenant. But exceptions exist, and a prior tenant’s furniture might be available for a negotiated price.

Certain landlords are known to furnish spaces and incorporate the cost into the lease. For you, the tenant, it’s a win-win—you avoid spending large sums upfront and dodging potential delays with furniture deliveries. From the landlord’s viewpoint, it’s a marketing edge. Contact us to learn which buildings offer this.

Remember the alternatives, though. Options like sublets or executive suites usually come pre-furnished, offering a turnkey solution. Therefore, before putting pen to paper, grasp the landlord’s responsibility for furniture. It’s about anticipating your needs and strategizing for a smooth move to your new office.

The Key Takeaway

Moving into a new office space in NYC and curious about who foots the bill for office furniture, fixtures, and computer networking? Let’s revisit some crucial pointers.

Firstly, internet and phone wiring? That’s the landlord’s responsibility, with telecom providers stepping in to connect your space. The catch? Internal network setup falls in your court.

Are you picturing a room full of telephones? Think again. Phone systems are usually your job. But remember, options like sublets or executive suites often come pre-wired, saving you a hassle.

Finally, that barren office space won’t magically fill itself with furniture. Typically, landlords leave that up to you. Yet, there’s hope. Negotiate for the previous tenant’s furniture or explore pre-furnished alternatives.

With this knowledge under your belt, your dream office is one step closer to being within reach.

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