Commercial leases can be a bit complicated, considering the amount of work to be done before sealing a deal. Renting a property for your business is a huge investment you can make. Therefore, when you take a commercial lease, it is vital to pick the lease that is most suitable for your company and negotiate the terms to enable your company to grow. Whether you were in a previous lease or taking the premises for the first time, it is essential to understand that signing the lease agreement is a critical process. You want to ensure flexibility and enough protection for your organization’s needs. Understand that commercial leases are complex. The contracts also differ from residential leases.
It is advisable not to be in a hurry to sign the lease without getting legal counsel. There might be conditions or clauses in the lease that you might not understand or want to change. Remember, the lease has onerous obligations on the tenant’s side, including the risk of eviction or liability for extensive repairs. Therefore, it is advisable to go with your Spokane real estate attorney to review the lease and negotiate with the landlord. They will ensure they get a deal that is favorable to your business. The following are five crucial things to check when signing a commercial lease.
- Lease Duration
Commercial leases last longer than residential leases. Instead of the month-to-month agreement, you can take the entire year, or the lease can go on for five years. Even when the business fails, the landlord will have the right to continue demanding payment for the remaining duration stated in the agreement. Therefore, review the lease and agree on how long you want it to last.
- Repairs and Maintenance
Many commercial property owners leave maintenance and repairs to their tenants, especially with no maintenance fees. Such terms are deep and different from residential leases. It is possible for a person leasing for the first time to overlook the terms. It is crucial to have in writing the part responsible for repairs and maintenance.
- Secondary Fees
Your landlord may charge a maintenance fee for providing an inhabitable environment or maintaining the property. They may also collect a part of the utility expenses from tenants. Therefore, it is crucial to review and get clarification on the secondary fees and the total monthly rent. This will help during the negotiations.
- Permitted Use
In most cases, commercial leases restrict how the tenant can use the property. Permitted use can mean the use allowed under planning law and in the lease. It is crucial to ensure both permitted uses align with your needs.
- Rent Terms
The rent section is also critical to review before signing the lease. You can check if the monthly rent is fixed throughout the lease term. A long-term lease can allow the landlord to review the rent, usually after every five years. The landlord can use various mechanisms to review the rent, like indexed rent review or market value review. Review any assumptions before signing. For instance, improvements on the property can lead to a value increase and, therefore, rent. So, you may want the landlord to disregard them when reviewing the rent.
Entrepreneurs who know the uniqueness and complexity of a commercial lease do not hesitate to include a lawyer when signing the agreement. The professional not only acts as a legal witness but is also helpful in the process. A lawyer helps review the lease, make necessary changes, and negotiate with the landlord for a better deal.