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Need help with a Commercial Building Lease?
A commercial building lease is a legally binding agreement between a landlord and a tenant, defining the terms and conditions of renting a commercial space. This agreement outlines the rights and obligations of both parties during the lease term, including the rental rate, lease duration, payment terms, maintenance responsibilities, and many other crucial aspects of the lease.
Types of Commercial Building Leases
There are two main types of commercial building leases: net lease and gross lease. The tenant pays rent, property taxes, and maintenance costs in a net lease. On the other hand, in a gross lease, the landlord takes care of all the expenses, and the tenant only pays the monthly rent. Both leases have pros and cons, and choosing the right one depends on the business's specific needs. Following are other types of commercial building leases:
Modified Gross Lease
A modified gross lease is a hybrid between gross and triple net leases. In a modified gross lease, the tenant pays a fixed rent each month, including some or all of the property expenses. This type of lease is often negotiated between the landlord and tenant and can be customized to meet the needs of both parties.
A percentage lease is a type of lease that requires the tenant to pay a base rent plus a percentage of their gross sales. This type of lease is often used in retail spaces where the tenant's sales are directly related to their use of the space.
In a ground lease, the tenant leases the land from the landlord and is responsible for building and maintaining the commercial building on the property. This type of lease is often used for large-scale commercial projects such as shopping centers or office parks.
A short-term lease is a lease agreement that typically lasts for one year or less. This type of lease is often used for temporary or seasonal commercial uses, such as pop-up shops or seasonal businesses.
It is important for tenants and landlords to carefully consider the type of commercial lease that best suits their needs and negotiate the lease terms accordingly.
Essentials of Negotiating a Commercial Building Lease
Negotiating a commercial building lease is a crucial aspect of the leasing process. Tenants should take the time to review the lease carefully and negotiate the terms that are favorable to their business. The lease terms are not set in stone, and it is possible to negotiate clauses such as rent increases, security deposits, or lease renewals. To ensure that all legal requirements are met, and the lease is fair, it is recommended to consult with a tenant lawyer who specializes in commercial leasing.
The lease term is the length of time that the tenant will be leasing the commercial building. Negotiating a lease term suitable for both the tenant and the landlord is important. Factors to consider include the tenant's business needs, market conditions, and the landlord's long-term plans for the property.
Rent and Rent Escalation
Rent is typically the largest expense for a tenant in a commercial building lease. Negotiating a fair rent that reflects the current market conditions and the property's value is important. Rent escalation clauses should also be considered, determining how rent increases over time.
The security deposit is the amount the landlord holds to cover any damages or unpaid rent at the end of the lease term. Negotiating a reasonable security deposit consistent with the market conditions and the tenant's financial situation is important.
Tenant improvements are modifications to the commercial building to suit the tenant's business needs. It is important to negotiate tenant improvement allowances, which are funds provided by the landlord to cover the costs of these improvements. The terms of tenant improvements should be carefully negotiated and included in the lease agreement.
The use clause specifies the permitted uses of the commercial building. It is important to negotiate a use clause consistent with the tenant's business needs and allows for flexibility if the tenant's needs change over time.
Maintenance and Repair Responsibilities
The lease agreement should clearly define maintenance and repair responsibilities. It is important to negotiate a fair allocation of these responsibilities between the landlord and the tenant.
Renewal and Termination Options
Renewal and termination options provide the tenant with flexibility at the end of the lease term. It is important to negotiate reasonable renewal and termination options that reflect the tenant's business needs and the landlord's long-term plans for the property.
Subleasing and Assignment Rights
Subleasing and assignment rights allow the tenant to lease the commercial building to another party or transfer the lease to another party. It is important to negotiate reasonable subleasing and assignment rights that reflect the tenant's business needs and the landlord's interests.
A commercial building lease is a legally binding document that an experienced real estate attorney should review. It is important to have the lease agreement reviewed by legal counsel to ensure that it is fair and reflects the interests of both parties.
The negotiation process should be conducted in good faith, with a willingness to compromise and find mutually beneficial solutions. Maintaining open communication and a positive relationship between the tenant and the landlord is important throughout the negotiation process.
- Rent: Rent is the amount of money that the tenant pays the landlord to use the commercial building. It is usually calculated based on the square footage of the leased space and is typically paid every month.
- Triple Net Lease: A triple net lease is a commercial building lease in which the tenant is responsible for paying all of the property expenses in addition to rent, including property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.
- Tenant Improvements: Tenant improvements are modifications to the commercial building to suit the tenant's business needs. The cost of tenant improvements is usually negotiated between the tenant and the landlord and may be funded through a tenant improvement allowance provided by the landlord.
- Use Clause: The use clause specifies the permitted uses of the commercial building. It is important for both the tenant and the landlord to carefully consider the use clause to ensure that it is consistent with the tenant's business needs and any zoning or regulatory requirements.
- Security Deposit: A security deposit is a sum of money held by the landlord to cover any damages or unpaid rent at the end of the lease term. The security deposit amount is usually negotiable and may be based on factors such as the tenant's creditworthiness and the length of the lease term.
To summarize, a commercial building lease is crucial to running a business. Understanding the terms and conditions included in the lease agreement is essential for avoiding any future conflicts. Tenants should negotiate the terms that are favorable to their business and seek the advice of a tenant lawyer to ensure that the lease is fair and legally binding.
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Meet some of our Commercial Building Lease Lawyers
June 13, 2022
I have been in practice since 1990 and practice in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. I am an experienced litigator and look forward to resolving your legal questions as efficiently as possible.
June 21, 2022
Hello! I am an Iowa native trying to bring some Midwest problem-solving to southern civil law. I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the individuals and businesses I assist. I practice estate planning and business formation and, with my litigation experience in mind, I help clients plan to ensure they and their interests are protected in the future.
July 12, 2022
Danielle Giovannone is the principal of Danielle D. Giovannone Law Office. In her experience, Danielle has found that many business do not require in-house legal counsel, but still need outside counsel that knows their business just as well as in-house counsel. This need inspired Danielle to start her firm. Before starting her firm, Danielle served as Contracts Counsel at Siena College and as an attorney at the New York City Department of Education, Office of the General Counsel. At the NYCDOE, she served as lead counsel negotiating and drafting large-scale commercial agreements, including contracts with major technology firms on behalf of the school district. Prior to the NYCDOE, Danielle worked as an associate at a small corporate and securities law firm, where she gained hands-on experience right out of law school. Danielle has provided legal and policy advice on intellectual property and data privacy matters, as well as corporate law, formation and compliance, employer liability, insurance, regulatory matters, general municipal matters and non-profit issues. Danielle holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law and a B.S. from Cornell University. She is active in her Capital District community providing pro bono services to the Legal Project, and has served as Co-Chair to the Niskayuna Co-op Nursery School and Vice President of Services to the Craig Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization. Danielle is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
July 17, 2022
Anand is an entrepreneur and attorney with a wide-ranging background. In his legal capacity, Anand has represented parties in (i) commercial finance, (ii) corporate, and (iii) real estate matters throughout the country, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Arizona, and Georgia. He is well-versed in business formation and management, reviewing and negotiating contracts, advising clients on financing strategy, and various other arenas in which individuals and businesses commonly find themselves. As an entrepreneur, Anand is involved in the hospitality industry and commercial real estate. His approach to the legal practice is to treat clients fairly and provide the highest quality representation possible. Anand received his law degree from Rutgers University School of Law in 2013 and his Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University, Lubin School of Business in 2007.
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I am a Florida estate planning and probate attorney helping clients achieve their goals through personalized legal strategies. Excellent communication, thorough preparation, and accurate execution are the keys to success.
July 8, 2022
Ahaji Amos, PLLC is a Houston-based intellectual property and civil litigation firm servicing clients throughout the U.S.
July 14, 2022
Combining extensive experience in litigation and as general counsel for a real estate and private equity company, I provide ongoing guidance and support to clients on a variety of transactional matters, including business formation, partnership agreements, corporate agreements, commercial and residential leasing, and employment issues.