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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lease audit?
A lease audit is an in-depth review of a tenant's occupancy costs to ensure that those costs are in compliance with the lease requirements.

Why audit my leases?
CRS has discovered significant errors in occupancy charges in over 50% of the leases we have audited. Most of these errors are inadvertent and are caused by misinterpretation of lease language or incorrect calculations.

What are some Red Flags indicating discrepancies and overpayments?
  • Changes In The Management Company
  • Accounting Changes In Billings From The Landlord
  • Move-In Activity and Tenant Fit-Up
  • Marketing, Promotional Events around The Building
  • Increases In Costs Greater Than 2-4 Percent From The Previous Year

If one or more of these "Red Flags" has occurred at your building or leased premises, you should have your lease and reconciliations audited for potential overcharges.

What information do we have to provide to get started?
Information required includes leases, amendments, modifications, as well as any pertinent correspondence from the landlord. We would also require copies of annual statements, reconciliations, and assessments.

Why use a Lease Auditing firm instead of an Accounting firm?
Our staff accountants and experts go beyond the normal accounting review process. We evaluate the total transaction from the viewpoint of the negotiating parties and their original intent. Our auditors have the real estate knowledge not generally found in accounting firms.

How do we maintain our Landlord/Tenant relationship?
CRS takes pride in our ability to handle claims while maintaining an excellent landlord/tenant relationship. We accomplish this by ensuring that claims are valid and well documented, and only communicate with the landlord with our Clients' prior knowledge and approval.

What are the benefits?
Benefits are twofold: first, past errors in billing are identified and the overcharges are recovered; and second, procedures and corrections are implemented so that errors do not recur during the remaining term of the lease.

How does CRS gather the preliminary review information for a large portfolio?
CRS will work with the Client to identify potential audit candidates; and based on our experience and the Client's specific requests, we will identify those locations that should provide the greatest economic benefit. Typically in a large portfolio of lease locations (over 250), about 20% of that number account for over 80% of total occupancy costs. Once the audit candidates are identified and prioritized, CRS will go to the repository of the lease and billing information and perform the preliminary review and catalog any missing information. CRS will formulate an effective strategy to gather the missing information that will least disrupt the Client's day to day activities.

What size space do I need to make it worthwhile?
We don't always look at space size. If you feel you are paying more than you should be, CRS will work with you to create a program that makes sense.

How long does a lease audit take?
After the required documents are compiled, the preliminary review can be completed in a short period of time, usually a week or less, depending on the complexity of the documentation. Final resolution depends on many variables--simple, clear-cut issues usually result in a quick resolution, while complex issues can take as long as several years to be resolved.

What should I look for in a lease audit firm?
The right audit firm must have experienced real estate professionals with a proven track record of performance and results along with the ability to accurately and consistently communicate those results to the Client.

Does CRS represent Landlords?
CRS does not represent landlords, thereby avoiding any possible conflicts of interest. We focus solely on assisting commercial tenants with their occupancy cost control efforts.

What about confidentiality?
Confidentiality and integrity are our top priorities. As an extension of our Clients' real estate operations, CRS takes our role seriously and have developed strong working relationships with our Clients through years of service.

What geographical areas does your company cover?
CRS has performed lease audits in virtually every state, including Hawaii and Canada. We can also provide services for international locations, if desired.

What is the cost?
CRS normally provides lease audit services on a contingency basis.  Our fee is a percentage of the savings realized by the Client and is payable only when the Client has actually received or benefited from those savings.