Whether you rent a warehouse, retail location or office for your business, having a solid commercial lease can help protect your interests. This document can also address and provide solutions for common problems that arise with commercial rentals.
As you negotiate a commercial lease agreement, review and prepare for these potential pitfalls.
Maintenance and repairs
An HVAC breakdown or burst pipe during your busy season can seriously impact your bottom line, especially without a prompt repair. Your lease should establish responsibility for both routine maintenance and emergency repairs, as well as the agreed-upon remedy if the landlord fails to quickly address these issues.
Sometimes, legal issues affecting the commercial location can interfere with your business. Before signing a commercial lease, conduct due diligence that covers these items:
- Absence of outstanding liens on the property
- Compliance with disability access, fire, safety and other building codes
- Working HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems
For maximum flexibility, your commercial lease should preserve the right to assignment. This type of clause allows you to sublet the property if you no longer want to rent the location. Because most commercial leases last a matter of years rather than months, you run the risk that your business will close or expand beyond the location with time still left on the lease.
Unlike residential leases, commercial leases rarely use a standard form. They also provide fewer tenant protections, so a careful review of any business lease is non-negotiable. As a business owner or manager, this step can limit your financial loss associated with space rental.