The lease of your business premises is one of the most significant financial commitments you will make. You're on the hook for a lot of money for 3, 5 or even 10 years. If your lease hasn't been carefully drafted, there is a risk of misunderstanding all rights, responsibilities and obligations as well as the real financial commitment.
The most important action your business can take is engaging a lawyer before the offer to lease is signed. This is because negotiation needs to take place before your business accepts an offer to lease, not at the time the final lease is completed.
We help you understand your options and make decisions about the future of your space. Our lawyers can help you draft and prepare the necessary documents and the policies that will protect you before and after a commercial lease agreement is reached.
Standard Lease Documents Are Negotiable
Commercial leases are complex documents and should be thoroughly reviewed by your lawyer before signing.
Many tenants simply look at the rental payment and terms and then sign the landlord's standard lease agreement without considering that it has been drafted in the landlord's favour. The landlord typically does not include provisions for your protection.
You should understand that you have the right to negotiate any of the lease terms and add clauses for your protection. The landlord may or may not agree but there is a good chance that, with proper negotiation, you can gain some concessions.
Misunderstandings in Commercial Lease Agreements
Some of the more common sections of business lease agreements that can cause misunderstandings are:
Do you really understand all of the costs involved in the lease? Do you know how these costs will be calculated? While often misunderstood, Additional Rent is found in many commercial leases.
Common Area Maintenance
You might be paying more than you think, costs for Common Area Maintenance can be difficult to understand and hard to negotiate.
The landlord wants protection against possible events but are you covered? If not, your financial exposure may be much higher than you expected.
What happens when the lease term is up? Have you negotiated any provisions for and terms of renewal? If not, you may have limited options at the end of the initial term.
Can you assign the lease to another party should you decide to sell your business or relocate? If you have no right to assign the lease, your future plans may be in jeopardy.
Contact us today and let us help you make sure you understand your lease.