Things to Avoid in a Lease Agreement

Any commercial lease should create a symbiotic relationship where both parties benefit economically from each other.  The lease sets the ground rules for the relationship, specifying precisely what all parties expect from their shared enterprise.  It well understood that both parties will have the greatest possible latitude in which to operate, and the lease only covers that limited part of their relationship which must remain in perfect agreement and legally actionable.  The lease sets those limits, providing both a source of solutions to the problems that arise and a way for both parties to avoid such problems to begin with. A well-written lease prevents many difficulties and renders the way out of issues remaining crystal clear.

A Clear Lease is a Fair Lease


Avoid leases that contain onerous conditions for either party.  As office space leases may last for years or decades, it can be certain that any minor burden will become critical at some point or another.   Fairness is essential. Most leases will contain provisions for ending the lease early or subletting the space. Build-out expectations should be clearly discussed in the lease, as well as well as regular maintenance issues. Clear delineation of authority in the lease can prevent all manner of trouble later.  If the lease is for a long-term, then the landlord should offer some sort of shelter from inflation or free months of rent.

Zoning Laws in Your Community 

Finally, always remember to check the zoning with the city before signing the lease.  It does not matter if the landlord, commercial real estate agent, other tenants, or anyone else assures you that the land is properly zoned for what you want to do.  It is the city that makes the decision. Be certain that the lease can legally be used for the intended purpose before wasting time on a lease that cannot be used. Even if the lease can work out a variance for the zoning issue, it is only fair that they know about the issue before embarking.

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