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A Guide to Tenant Improvements: Everything You Need to Know.

Table of Contents

What does the term “tenant improvement” mean?

In order to ensure that your office space is designed specifically to meet your demands and is necessary for your brand, it is important to perform tenant improvements (TI). It’s important to know what a TI is and what kinds of upgrades you may get when looking at leasing space for your company and employees….

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Who foots the bill for upgrades made by a commercial tenant?

Most landlords use a tenant improvement allowance to pay for commercial leasehold renovations, and if the cost of the upgrades exceeds the TI allowance, you are responsible for the difference. In most cases, it’s expressed as a dollar amount per square foot or as a percentage of the total. Tenants are under no obligation to accept any form of TI allowance, but it has become increasingly popular as an incentive to lease space, especially when the market is strong. Since most landlords are reasonable and will work with you if the allowance is over, be sure to ask if TI overage charges are included in the monthly leasing fee when making your plans. As a result, you won’t have to come up with any extra money and make upgrades over the limit at the beginning of the lease.

What are some TI examples?

A TI allows a business to tailor a leasing area to fulfill unique demands. An additional bathroom, conference rooms, drop ceilings and painting are examples of TIs. Dental chairs and cabinets, medical procedure tables, and industry-specific lighting are not covered by a TI allowance, therefore add these to your moving expenses.

Move-in is an exciting time for renovations and transformation. Make sure you understand your tenant improvement clause.

Tenant improvement can be defined in many different ways.

If you’re in the real estate business, TIs (tenant improvements) are bespoke changes that building owners make as an agreed-upon clause in their rental agreements so that a specific tenant’s requirements can be met.

Commercial leases frequently necessitate some degree of wrangling in order to satisfy both parties. Incentives for signing leases include making contributions to tenant improvements (also known as TIs). TIs refer to any improvements made to a space to better satisfy the demands of a tenant. 

Keep these things in mind when making tenant upgrades to your own properties.


The amount that landlords contribute to tenant upgrades varies depending on a number of factors. Remember that amortizing TIs as extra rent shifts the risk of their expense to the landlord.

Consider the tenant’s reputation, the urgency of the vacancy, current cash available for improvements, the lease duration, the tenant’s reliability, and the current/ projected economy when negotiating tenant improvements. When discussing tenant upgrades, keep these points in mind.


There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to tenant improvements. If you want things to run smoothly, you need to hire a reputable contractor who can finish the additions on time. The important thing is to time the improvements such that the recurring rental payments begin as soon as possible. If you don’t, you run the risk of falling behind on your monthly payments, which could lead to trouble with your new tenant.

New Spaces Tenant Improvements Vs. Existing Spaces Tenant Improvements

It is very dependent on the current quality of the space and the needs of your tenants what you can achieve with your tenant improvement budget. New spaces are frequently a blank slate, allowing you to get the most value for money by modifying the improvements to meet the specific demands of the new tenant. Existing spaces can be modified to meet the specific demands of a new tenant by making changes to the current fit-out. Since the expense of restructuring an existing room can quickly mount, make certain to include it when setting your spending limit.

AH Construction is your Top Rated Commercial Construction Company.

When it comes to trusted insight, cutting-edge innovation, and exceptional customer service, you can count on AH Construction to be on top. Please call us at (+1 619-241-2084) if you have any questions about office tenant improvements and commercial construction services.