Friday, April 14, 2023

What does April Fool’s day signal?

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Today is April Fool’s day. I wish I had a pithy prank to put forth however the reservoir is dry when it comes to when it that. However, with the dawning of spring, the crack of the opening baseball bat, Easter, the Masters golf tournament, and the NCAA final four - spring has officially sprung and the first quarter of 2023 is officially in the books. As I wrote about last week, there are some things to behold with respect to the economy for the balance of 2023 - however, today I will focus upon what you should have accomplished in the first quarter of this year. Don’t despair. If you didn’t get it done, there’s still time.
Review all of your lease agreements. Now would be a great time to put your hands on a fully executed copy of your lease and any extensions. Make sure all are signed by both parties. You don’t want to be scrambling around during a critical date with a half executed document. This is best done at the end of a year with a careful eye toward any upcoming expirations, options to extend, rent increases, options to purchase, etc. But what if you occupy a building you own. Should you have a lease agreement with your operating company? Absolutely! I could write an entire column on the horrors of handshake agreements between related entities.
Taxes. Normally, corporate returns should have been filed on March 15 and personal by April 15. But this year, thanks to our deluge, we get to sleep in until October 15th. Check with your tax professional as situations may vary. If your attempting to perfect a tax deferred exchange - according to PR Newswire - “The IRS has extended the 45-day and 180-day 1031 exchange deadlines for eligible taxpayers. Those who qualify will now have an extended General Postponement date of October 16, 2023 to find a replacement property and close on their 1031 exchange transaction.”
Reconciliation of your common area maintenance expenses. Your landlord may lump all of your operating expenses into an annual amount and bill you on a monthly basis. Normally, budgeting for this occurs in October so that invoicing may commence in January. Taken into account are things such as property taxes, insurance and maintenance. If you pay too much or too little during a calendar year - the amounts are reconciled in the first quarter. If you’ve not received a reconciliation - I’d suggest phoning your owner.
Make sure all of your entities are active. A good time to check this is during tax time. But since the window for taxes has moved - make sure you’ve paid the state for those corporate filings. Check on business licenses as well. We represented a seller a few years ago who hadn’t paid his LLC filing fees for 28 years! You can imagine the drama and expense to reactivate his entity so that we could transact.
Take a look at all of the physical elements of your commercial real estate. Now that the rain has - hopefully - subsided until fall - your roof may need more than a seasonal patch. With the crunch of repairs causing roofers sleepless nights - you may actually be able to hire one. Now is a great time to check on your air conditioning as the hot months will be here soon. The sump pump on your truck well got a good workout last quarter. Make sure he’s up for the next soaking.
Plans for the balance of the year. Is a move in your future? With industrial vacancies still at historic lows - don’t wait until ninety days prior to expiration to commence the search. Most will agree a year to eighteen months is appropriate for a proper search, negotiation, fit out and relocation. 
Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104. His website is

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