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A commercial lease extension is a binding contract that extends a tenant's use of a commercial property past the original lease period. As a business owner, the commercial lease you signed when you first rented your business space is one of your most important contracts. When the lease term is about to expire, it's crucial to consider whether you want to extend the lease or find a new space. This blog post will guide you through everything about commercial lease extensions.

Legal Aspects of a Commercial Lease Extension

  • Lease Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions of the lease extension should be clearly stated in writing, including the length of the extension, the rent amount, any changes to the lease terms, and the renewal options.

  • Rent Increase

    If the lease extension includes a rent increase, it should be clearly stated in writing, and the increase should be reasonable and in line with the current market rates for similar commercial spaces in the area.

  • Tenant Improvements

    The lease extension may require the tenant to improve the space. The lease should specify who will pay for these improvements and whether they will be considered the property of the landlord or the tenant.

  • Legal Compliance

    The lease extension should comply with all applicable laws and regulations in California, including zoning laws, building codes, and environmental regulations.

  • Legal Counsel

    It is important to have legal counsel review the lease extension terms to ensure they are fair and compliant with California law. An attorney can also help negotiate the terms of the extension to protect the tenant's interests.

  • Mutual Agreement

    A commercial lease extension in California requires a mutual agreement between the landlord and the tenant. Both parties should review and sign the extension agreement before it becomes legally binding.

  • Record Keeping

    All lease extensions should be kept in writing and maintained as legal records. This is important for both the landlord and the tenant to have a clear record of the terms and conditions of the lease extension.

Tips for Negotiating a Favorable Lease Extension

  • Start Early

    Begin the negotiation process well before the current lease expires to give yourself plenty of time to negotiate and review the terms.

  • Research the Market

    Research the current market rates for similar commercial spaces in the area to ensure the rent increase is reasonable and in line with the current market rates.

  • Identify Your Priorities

    Determine what is most important to you in the lease extension negotiation, such as rent, lease term, or tenant improvements. This will help you negotiate effectively.

  • Make a Counteroffer

    If you receive an initial offer that is not favorable, make a counteroffer with specific terms and conditions that are more favorable to you.

  • Seek Legal Advice

    It is important to have a lawyer review the lease extension agreement to ensure it is fair and compliant with California law.

  • Use Leverage

    If you are a long-term tenant with a good track record, you may have more leverage in negotiating favorable terms.

  • Be Flexible

    Be open to compromise and be willing to negotiate on some terms in exchange for favorable terms on others.

  • Maintain Good Communication

    Maintain open and clear communication with the landlord or property manager throughout the negotiation process to build trust and avoid misunderstandings.

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Key Terms for a Commercial Lease Extension

  • Renewal Option: A renewal option is a provision in the lease agreement that allows the tenant to extend the lease term for an additional period of time, usually at a predetermined rent rate.
  • Rent Increase: The lease extension agreement may include provisions for rent increases, which can be based on factors such as inflation or the current market rates for similar commercial spaces.
  • Length of Extension: The lease extension agreement should clearly state the length of the extension period, including the start and end dates.
  • Tenant Improvements: The lease extension may provide tenant improvements or modifications to the commercial space. The terms of these improvements, such as who will pay for them, should be spelled out in the agreement.
  • Legal Requirements: The lease extension agreement should comply with all legal requirements under California law, such as rent control or tenant rights. It is important to have a lawyer review the agreement to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Final Thoughts on a Commercial Lease Extension

A commercial lease extension in California can be a useful tool for landlords and tenants interested in extending a commercial lease beyond its original term. By extending the lease, landlords can maintain a reliable source of income from their commercial property. At the same time, tenants can continue to operate their businesses without the expense and inconvenience of finding new space.

However, it is important for both landlords and tenants to carefully consider the terms of the lease extension before agreeing. It may include negotiating rent increases, changes to the extension length, or other modifications to the lease terms. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the lease extension complies with all relevant laws and regulations and to seek the advice of a legal professional if necessary.

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ContractsCounsel is not a law firm, and this post should not be considered and does not contain legal advice. To ensure the information and advice in this post are correct, sufficient, and appropriate for your situation, please consult a licensed attorney. Also, using or accessing ContractsCounsel's site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and ContractsCounsel.


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Elbert T.

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Elbert Thomas is the founder of the Thomas Law Group, LLC. Elbert is proficient in contract creation, drafting, reviewing, and negotiating various business contracts and demand letters in industries such as construction, personal, professional services, non-profits, and real estate. Elbert typically represents small and large companies in drafting and negotiating countless agreements such as purchase sale agreements, interconnection agreements, lease agreements, demand letters, cease & desist letters, transfer of deeds in real property, and merger/acquisition agreements. In addition, Elbert is also experienced in start-ups, small business formation, drafting operating agreements, and estate planning.

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Stacey D.

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I enjoy helping businesses of all sizes succeed, from start-ups to existing small and medium sized businesses. I regularly advise corporate clients on a variety of legal issues including formation, day to day governance, reviewing and drafting business contracts and other agreements, business acquisitions and sales, as well as commercial and residential real estate issues, including sales, purchases and leases. As an attorney licensed in both Michigan and Florida, I also advise clients on real estate issues affecting businesses and individuals owning real property in either state, whether commercial, residential or vacation/investment property. I also regularly assist nonprofit organizations in obtaining and maintaining tax exempt status, and provide general legal counsel on all matters affecting public charities, private foundations and other nonprofit organizations.

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Hailing from Central Texas, Jordan Pender graduated from Baylor University in 2017 with his Bachelor of Arts degree and in 2021 he graduated from Baylor Law School with his Juris Doctor. Since August of 2021, Jordan has been working as an associate attorney for The Law Office of Gregory K. Simmons in Killeen, Texas focusing in general civil litigation. Areas of expertise include: Family Law, Contractual disputes, Business entity formation and planning, and Landlord & Tenant disputes.

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Transactional attorney with experience in drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts related and ancillary to commercial leasing. Licensed in CA and NY.

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