Commercial Lease Negotiation Checklist

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 4,751 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a legal contract?

Post Project Now

Post Your Project (It's Free)

Get Bids to Compare

 Hire Your Lawyer

A commercial lease negotiation checklist is an effective instrument used by lessees and landlords when signing a commercial lease agreement. In addition, this checklist strives to ensure that all important matters are addressed and that all parties consent before executing the commercial lease. A well-negotiated commercial lease can help avoid prospective conflicts and ensure that the tenancy benefits both the owner and the lessee.

Essential Components of a Commercial Lease Negotiation Checklist

While negotiating a commercial lease can be a complicated and time-consuming procedure, it is essential for companies looking to secure the right space to fulfill their requirements. Also, to help ensure that you get the most promising deal possible, it is necessary to have a checklist of the key elements to consider during the negotiation process. Below are some principal elements to include in your commercial lease negotiation checklist.

  • Location of the Proposed Commercial Space

    The location of your commercial space is essential to your company's success. You want to ensure that you remain located in an area that is easily accessible to your target clients and employees. Hence it is necessary to incorporate the commercial property's location in the checklist and consider the proximity to road networks, public transportation, and other amenities such as restaurants and shops.

  • Rent and Rent Increment

    Rent is one of the largest expenditures a company will face, and it's essential to ensure that the rent amount is affordable and reasonable. When drafting a commercial lease negotiation checklist, understand the rent provisions, including the initial rent, any increments, and the frequency of rent increments. Consider asking for a rent-free period or an upper limit on rent increases to safeguard your business against possible rent spikes.

  • Commercial Lease Term

    When preparing a commercial lease negotiation checklist, the lease term is important. While a longer commercial lease duration provides stability and predictability, it ties you to the property for a longer period. On the other hand, a shorter lease term provides more flexibility but may result in higher rent and restricted possibilities for lease renewal. In addition, you must consider your company's growth potential and how your requirements may vary over time when deciding on the lease period.

  • Common Area Maintenance

    The fourth point commercial lease negotiation checklist includes common area maintenance (CAM). CAM, also known as common area maintenance, is the cost of maintaining and using common building areas, such as elevators, lobbies, and restrooms. Lessees should understand what CAM expenses are incorporated in the lease agreement and what expenditures they will be responsible for settling. It is also necessary to determine whether the CAM expenditures are appropriate and whether they are subject to modification over time.

  • Alterations and Improvements

    If you plan to modify the commercial space, it is essential to comprehend the lease terms regarding enhancements and alterations. It can include installing fixtures, painting, or modifying the layout. Also, you must ensure that you understand who will be responsible for the cost of these modifications and whether you can change the space if your company needs to change.

  • Operating Expenses

    Operating expenses can greatly affect your company's bottom line, so you must comprehend what expenditures you will be accountable for when negotiating a commercial lease. These expenses include property taxes, utilities, insurance, and maintenance costs.

  • Security Deposit

    Another item on the commercial lease negotiation checklist is the security deposit. The security deposit is a sum of money the lessee must pay the lessor as security for the lease agreement. Tenants should be aware of the amount of the security deposit and the conditions under which it will be returned to the lessee at the end of the commercial lease term. It is also necessary to determine whether the security deposit is non-refundable or refundable.

  • Subleasing

    Subleasing can allow a company to create extra revenue or share the expense of the commercial space. Nevertheless, it's important to comprehend the lease terms regarding subletting, including who will be accountable for finding a subtenant and what constraints may apply. Assess whether subleasing is an alternative for your business and whether it is something that you will need to negotiate into the commercial lease.

  • Parking

    Access to satisfactory parking is crucial for many companies, so include the parking situation in a commercial lease negotiation checklist. This point can comprise the availability of off-site parking, on-site parking, or street parking. Consider the requirements of your employees, clients, and vendors when deciding on parking arrangements.

  • Leasehold Modifications

    The final item on the commercial lease negotiation checklist is leasehold improvements. Leasehold improvements are the modifications the lessee can make to the commercial space, such as painting the walls, installing new fixtures, or new flooring. Furthermore, lessees should be aware of the expense of the leasehold modifications and who will be accountable for paying for them. It is also important to decide whether the leasehold improvements will remain in the space when the commercial lease term ends.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Elbert T.

3 projects on CC
View Profile

Zachary J.

77 projects on CC
View Profile

Richard N.

100 projects on CC
View Profile

Valerie L.

35 projects on CC
View Profile

Key Terms

  • Rent Escalation: A requirement in the lease contract that defines how the rent will rise over time.
  • Renewal Options: The prerequisites allow the lessee to renew the lease agreement after the lease period has lapsed.
  • Tenant Improvements: Modifications or additions made to the property by the lessee, for which the lessee may be entitled to a refund from the landlord.
  • Subleasing: The process by which the tenant rents out a portion of the property to another party.
  • Use Limitations: Requirements in the lease agreement specify the property's permissible uses.
  • Subordination and Assignment: Provisions in the lease agreement allow the lessee to transfer their lease to another person or give priority to other creditors in the event of insolvency or bankruptcy.
  • Insurance Prerequisites: Provisions in the lease contract require the lessee to obtain and retain certain insurance policies.
  • Maintenance and Repair Obligations: Provisions in the lease agreement summarize the obligations of the landlord and lessee for maintaining and repairing the property.


To summarize, a well-negotiated commercial lease agreement can be the difference between success and failure for a company. A commercial lease negotiation checklist can help guarantee that all elements of the lease agreement are evaluated and managed. And by assessing each key point, a lessee can ensure that the commercial lease agreement is in their best interests and safeguards their company from potential liabilities. Moreover, it is necessary to consult a professional real estate lawyer to review the lease agreement before signing it to ensure that the lease terms are fair and reasonable.

If you are looking to get free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, you can Click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Octavia P. on ContractsCounsel
View Octavia
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
January 30, 2021

Octavia P.

Free Consultation
Chicago, IL
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL
The John Marshall Law School

I am a business law attorney with over 10 years’ experience and a strong background in information technology. I am a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, a member of the Illinois bar and a licensed lawyer (Solicitor) of England and Wales. I actively partner directly with my clients or indirectly, as Of Counsel, to boutique law firms to streamline business practices and manage legal risks by focusing on essentials such as - business contracts, corporate structure, employment/independent contractor agreements, website terms and policies, IP, technology, and commercial related agreements as well as business risk and compliance guidance.

Albert M. on ContractsCounsel
View Albert
5.0 (6)
Member Since:
February 8, 2021

Albert M.

Free Consultation
Woodbury, NJ
20 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ
Rutgers School of Law - Camden

I am a New Jersey licensed attorney and I have been in practice for over nineteen years. My practice mainly consists of representing public entities (municipalities, school boards, etc) and businesses, both small and large. In that capacity, much of work consists of drafting, reviewing and revising contracts.

Jose P. on ContractsCounsel
View Jose
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
February 13, 2021

Jose P.

Free Consultation
San Antonio, Dallas
23 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of Pennsylvania

I am a corporate lawyer with expertise working with small businesses, venture capital and healthcare. Previously, I worked at large law firms, as well as head attorney for companies. I graduated from Harvard College and University of Pennsylvania Law School. I speak 5 languages (Spanish, French, Italian and Russian, plus English), visited over 60 countries, and used to compete in salsa dancing!

Briana C. on ContractsCounsel
View Briana
5.0 (35)
Member Since:
February 14, 2021

Briana C.

Founder, Branch Legal LLC
Free Consultation
Boston, MA
11 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, MA, NY
Columbia University School of Law

Legal services cost too much, and are often of low quality. I have devoted my law practice to providing the best work at the most affordable price—in everything from defending small businesses against patent trolls to advising multinational corporations on regulatory compliance to steering couples through a divorce.

Elizabeth C. on ContractsCounsel
View Elizabeth
Member Since:
November 23, 2020

Elizabeth C.

Contracts Specialist
Free Consultation
Sarasota, FL
14 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, NY
Quinnipiac University School of Law

As an experienced contracts professional, I offer an affordable method to have your contracts reviewed! With my review of your contract, you can understand and reduce risks, negotiate better terms, and be your own advocate. I am an Attorney, Board Member, and Freelance Writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Film, Television and Theatre (“FTT”) from The University of Notre Dame. I was awarded The Catherine Hicks Award for outstanding work in FTT as voted on by the faculty. I graduated, cum laude, from Quinnipiac University School of Law, where I earned several awards for academics and for my work in the Mock Trial and Moot Court Honor Societies. Additionally, in my career, I have had much success as an in-house Corporate Attorney with a broad range of generalist experience and experience in handling a wide variety of legal matters of moderate to high exposure and complexity. My main focus in my legal career has been contract drafting, review, and negotiation. I also have a background in real estate, hospitality, sales, and sports and entertainment, among other things.

Elizabeth R. on ContractsCounsel
View Elizabeth
Member Since:
January 20, 2021

Elizabeth R.

Free Consultation
Columbus, Ohio
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL, OH
Florida International University School of Law

Elizabeth is an experienced attorney with a demonstrated history of handling transactional legal matters for a wide range of small businesses and entrepreneurs, with a distinct understanding of dental and medical practices. Elizabeth also earned a BBA in Accounting, giving her unique perspective about the financial considerations her clients encounter regularly while navigating the legal and business environments. Elizabeth is highly responsive, personable and has great attention to detail. She is also fluent in Spanish.

Abby V. on ContractsCounsel
View Abby
Member Since:
December 7, 2020

Abby V.

Free Consultation
Washington, DC
16 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC, NJ, NY
Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Abby is an attorney and public policy specialist who has fused together her experience as an advocate, education in economics and public health, and passion for working with animals to create healthier communities for people and animals alike. At Opening Doors PLLC, she helps housing providers ensure the integrity of animal accommodation requests, comply with fair housing requirements, and implement safer pet policies. Abby also assists residents with their pet-related housing problems and works with community stakeholders to increase housing stability in underserved communities. She is a nationally-recognized expert in animal accommodation laws and her work has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, and Cosmopolitan magazine.

Brit B. on ContractsCounsel
View Brit
Member Since:
December 29, 2020

Brit B.

General Counsel
Free Consultation
Remote (company based in Houston)
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of Maryland, School of Law

First in-house counsel for small TX-based company operating in the Middle East. Experienced with drafting, revising, and editing a variety of domestic and international contracts.

Matan S. on ContractsCounsel
View Matan
Member Since:
January 4, 2021

Matan S.

Free Consultation
Philadelphia, PA
10 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NJ, PA

Matan is an experienced M&A, corporate, tax and real estate attorney advising closely held businesses, technology start ups, service businesses, and manufacturers in purchases, sales, and other exit strategies. Matan works with founders and first-and-second generation owners to strategically transition businesses.

Sean D. on ContractsCounsel
View Sean
Member Since:
January 25, 2021

Sean D.

Business Attorney
Free Consultation
Elkridge, Maryland
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MD
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Accomplished and results-driven business attorney with extensive experience in commercial real estate / project finance, commercial transactions, and entity formations, that possesses a winning blend of subject matter expertise, skill in client relationship management, and practical experience. Leverages a unique mix of legal, strategic, and analytical expertise that consistently meets and surpasses client expectations. Specialties: Commercial Real Estate Law, Contract Negotiation, Entity Formation, Joint Ventures, Procurement, Lease/Buy/Sell Transactions, Business Consultations, Team Leadership, and Economic Development

Jonathan D. on ContractsCounsel
View Jonathan
Member Since:
February 8, 2021

Jonathan D.

Free Consultation
5 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Florida International University School of Law

Miami-based duly licensed attorney and customs broker with significant experience in various types of supply chain business agreements, as well as experience in entertainment law.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call