Should I Hire a Lawyer When Negotiating a Commercial Property Lease?

With the growing inflation rate over the past decade, leasing a property in the current economic landscape has become quite challenging. For an average individual, a lease, whether commercial or residential, is one of the biggest fixed expenses annually. It is, therefore, crucial to have a stable agreement with the best possible rental rate that will shield you from the impact of any exorbitant rise in rent throughout your lease period. Commercial leases are particularly tricky since they are highly technical, lengthy, and difficult to navigate for a person who has no prior experience in commercial litigation.

With a commercial lease, the general assumption is that you would have an attorney to review all the terms and conditions and manage the contract. Knowing negotiable clauses in your commercial lease can come in handy when you have a lawyer guiding you every step of the way. Let us examine how an experienced attorney can help you in the process of negotiating a commercial property lease.

What Is a Commercial Lease?

A commercial lease is a legal contract between a property owner and a business owner that enables the latter to use the former’s property as a place of business, such as an office or a warehouse. This legally-binding agreement entails the terms and conditions of a usual contract, including offer, acceptance, consideration, and intent. As soon as a commercial lease agreement is signed by both parties involved, it becomes binding, and any violation of the agreement can be challenged in a court of law.

How Is a Commercial Lease Different from a Residential Lease?

Residential lease agreements operate on standardized terms, and under the assumption that the person signing the lease does not have a lawyer for advice. Accordingly, multiple consumer protection stipulations are outlined in the law to protect the lessee. On the contrary, a commercial lease operates under the assumption that the lessee is adequately knowledgeable about business law or has an attorney for legal advice. Commercial leases also differ from residential leases when it comes to negotiable terms. A commercial tenant can negotiate multiple terms in the contract with the lessor. Knowing these terms and leveraging the option of negotiation can make a world of difference in your business’ success. Unlike residential agreements, commercial leases are signed for longer terms, typically between three and five years. The contract, therefore, entails a long-term relationship between the two parties, in contrast with residential leases that are typically valid for one year only. Commercial leases also have variable terms since the leasing requirements of each business can vary drastically. It obviates the need for a standard lease agreement, which means that each commercial lease is a unique contract that needs to be scrutinized thoroughly. On the other hand, residential leases are fairly standardized since most tenants have similar requirements.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

A commercial lease lawyer may assist in determining the accuracy of the agreement and confirming that all the provisions that were mutually agreed upon are included. The fine print of the document can conceal multiple facts that can be easy to overlook, and once a document is signed, it comes into effect immediately. A lawyer can also help you disclose all the potential uses of your commercial property, including any undisclosed revenue streams that, if discovered later, can be a cause of grave concern. An attorney can also help delineate maintenance responsibilities and out clauses that can help protect your finances and future.

Conclusion

Negotiating a commercial lease with the help of an experienced attorney can have a lasting impact on the success of your business. Rent is one of the most significant expenses of any business; getting legal advice while examining your commercial lease agreement can help you identify how to save money in the long run and pay a fair price for what you get.