When it comes to reviewing a commercial lease, you might want to consider hiring an extra pair of eyes and ears to avoid any unnecessary mistakes. Although it may sound easy enough to do on your own, having a lawyer with you could actually prove to save you a lot of money in the long run – and a lot of headaches, too.
Check for accuracy
Commercial leases are very different to residential leases. When renting a residential property, you know exactly what you are getting. Commercial properties differ in a few aspects, so you need to make sure the information in the lease is accurate down to every last detail. Otherwise, you may end up with something quite different to what you expected.
You can avoid this by double-checking key details such as the physical address, rental price and square foot of the property. You should also inquire about future rental increases to avoid any nasty surprises.
Discuss and avoid dispute resolution
Should something go wrong between you and your landlord, you’ll want to make sure that you won’t be held accountable for all the legal fees. If it isn’t clearly stated in the commercial lease, be sure to bring it up with your landlord and have it written in stone. This way, your landlord will be much more willing and open to negotiating with you later on, without emptying your pockets. This will also help to hold them accountable for any wrongdoing when it comes to the written lease itself.
Negotiate the terms of your lease
You might also be able to negotiate certain lease terms like early lease termination, should you be unable to pay the rent due to financial reasons. On the other hand, your tenant may also allow you to sublease should you have to. Verbal agreements are great, but these details should also be included in writing so that your landlord can’t go back on their word should things go off track.
Avoid hidden costs
Sometimes, commercial agreements contain hidden costs, or don’t mention them at all. A few examples include leaving out maintenance fees, water rates, electrical bills and air conditioning costs. You should also check whether or not communal areas like bathrooms and parking lots are included in your rent.
It’s important that these things are all mentioned so that it’s clear who will take responsibility for them. Although it isn’t uncommon for the tenant to pay for some if not all of these services, this is an area that can be negotiated with your landlord.
Know what’s expected from you
Your commercial lease agreement should clearly mention the landlord’s expectations of you as a tenant. For example, the way you leave the property may have to be exactly the same way as you first found it, or you might be allowed to change certain aspects. Depending on your situation, having to return everything to the way it was at the end of your lease could prove extremely costly and in some cases, not worth it.
These are just a few things to look out for when starting or expanding your new business, as there are plenty to look out for. Reading through and signing a commercial lease can be overwhelmingly complex and complicated – but it doesn’t have to be.
Having someone by your side who knows exactly what to look out for can be a great way to ensure smooth sailing along your new adventure.