A decent part of my practice is the representation of tenants and landlords in commercial leasing. I enjoy this work because the negotiation of a lease means someone is starting or expanding a business and this is always a good thing.
All too often, I am not asked to assist in the negotiation of the initial lease, but rather asked to step in and help “bring the landlord into line.” Unfortunately, if a commercial tenant fails to have the lease reviewed prior to signing it, their leverage is usually quite low and they are working with a signed contract that is decidedly “pro-landlord.” “Saving” a few bucks by having your attorney friend “look it over” or failing to have it reviewed at all often results in much greater expense and inconvenience down the road.
While it is true that most commercial leases are pro-landlord unless you are large business such as a Kroger or Wal-mart, there are many issues in a lease that can be negotiated to the tenant’s benefit, or, at a minimum, into a balanced posture. With rents continuing to increase on a local level, the liability to the tenant is greater than ever – often hundreds of thousands of dollars that are protected by a personal guaranty! Making sure the lease has adequate protections against immediate defaults, among other issues, is critical to success.
If you are a potential tenant, current tenant or landlord and have questions about a leasing situation, please call me today for a free consultation.