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Securing an agreeable lease on commercial property is one of the important tasks a business owner will face. After all, it represents a business’ biggest monthly expense.
Yet many business owners make the mistake of signing a commercial lease without fully reviewing the information presented by the landlord and without adequately negotiating the terms. Perhaps they think the legal costs are too much from the start and they walk away without negotiating better terms. Or perhaps they are simply too busy and overwhelmed to deal with the process. Or, maybe they’re worried that negotiating the terms will jeopardize their bid and they’ll lose the space to another candidate. There’s no denying these are legitimate concerns. But the fact is, proper negotiation is critical for securing the best lease, especially when it comes to saving money.
It’s also critical to understand that when entering a lease, a business does not enjoy the same special rights and protections as a residential tenant. As a result, business tenants need to take special precautions to ensure they are protected from possible violations and abuse.
The law firm of Joseph H. Ostad can help. We have more than 20 years of experience negotiating commercial leases for businesses in the Baltimore-Washington area. Whether your business is small, mid-sized or large, we can negotiate the best terms specific to your needs. We’ll help you secure the desired location professionally without worry and we’ll always make certain your rights are protected while saving you a bundle in the process.
When it comes to a commercial lease, there is no “standard” document, or “boiler plate” agreement. However, the initial document will almost always favor the landlord. That’s because it is typically drawn up by the landlord’s attorney. Chances are it will be full of terms you may have never seen or heard before. These words include: Rentable Square Feet, Gross Lease, C.P.I. (Consumers Price Index), Triple-Net, Subordination, Trade Fixture and Estoppel Certificate.” Landlords begin with a distinct advantage but having an experienced attorney on your side will level the playing field. You’ll have someone explaining the terms of the lease line-by-line, while ensuring your best interests are fully represented and negotiated.
Just about every aspect of a lease agreement can be negotiated by the two parties. But here are the most common:
You want to be able to negotiate the amount of time you feel gives you the most flexibility.
You want to negotiate the amount you’ll be paying monthly or yearly with the goal of saving as much money as possible while keeping increases to a minimum.
If at all possible, you’ll want to make sure the landlord makes improvements to your liking to save you money and provide a more pleasant working environment.
You’ll want to leave room in your agreement for someone else to take your place in case your business wishes to (or must) leave the premises before your lease expires.
It’s also critical to discuss current or future defects and repairs. In other words, your negotiated lease should make it clear who is responsible for fixing what. This includes not just common problems like a broken toilet but also much bigger problems that can be detrimental to your business if not dealt with properly. The last thing you need is faulty wiring, a leaking roof, or broken heating system creating havoc on your employees and customers. You can even include special provisions that make the landlord liable for lost business or negative impact defective conditions may have caused.
What about eviction? It could happen, even for something seemingly trivial. If conflicts develop (and unfortunately they do all the time) an experienced landlord-tenant attorney is your best protection. For example, normally a landlord will give a tenant certain number of days to fix a violation before an eviction can occur. Many times this is not nearly enough time. But a good commercial lease attorney can negotiate a much longer notice requirement time.
Often to accomplish favorable terms, a commercial lease attorney will attempt to gage how much leverage you have over the landlord. In other words, how much negotiating power – leverage – do you have? Ultimately, this depends on several crucial factors including:
The law firm of Joseph H. Ostad will review and study all necessary conditions, terms, options and factors regarding your lease. The goal is simple: Help you move into the property of your choice while winning significant landlord concessions in a professional manner.
When it comes to negotiating commercial leases, experience matters most. The law offices of Joseph H. Ostad have been helping business owners from all market sectors secure favorable lease conditions for more than 20 years. We’ll handle each step of the process professionally and quickly. We’ll work hard to win concessions from the landlord, save you money, while helping you move into your desired location with ease. Please contact us today for a free consultation. You can call 800-320-0080 and talk to us directly or click here to contact us online and set up in appointment at our Rockville or Baltimore office.