I am frequently asked about the Slovakian real estate market by companies considering relocating to Slovakia, or foreign businesses looking to expand into new premises. This new series of articles explains how the market works, and some of the pitfalls to avoid.
If you are unfamiliar with Slovakia you need to be aware that renting or buying an office (or warehouse or factory) here presents some different challenges from western Europe or the USA. Firstly, the market is less transparent than you may be used to, meaning it isn’t easy to get an idea of the market value of a property or the terms and conditions a landlord will usually accept.
Secondly some of the fee arrangements can be opaque – you need to make sure you understand exactly who is being payed for what and by whom.
As real estate is typically the second biggest cost for any business it makes sense to reduce the possibility for expensive mistakes by working with advisors who offer local market knowledge and international ethical and professional standards. Always check who brokers are paid by – it is standard market practice in Slovakia for agents to be paid by the landlord for introducing a tenant – and if so they shouldn’t also ask for fees from the tenant.
Next time we’ll look at how the office rental market works.
By Tom England MRICS