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What to know about commercial leases

If you are looking for a space to lease for your office, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Once you find a space that is a good fit, you will need to sign a lease agreement that defines each party’s rights and responsibilities.

A commercial lease differs from a residential one in a number of ways, and not taking the time to carefully read over the agreement before signing can have unwanted consequences.

How a commercial lease differs from a residential lease

Many aspects of commercial and residential leases are similar, including amount of rent, security deposit, date rent is due and late fees. However, Business News Daily discusses some of the ways they are different. Many commercial leases are of longer duration than residential ones. This can be a good thing if you are looking for a better price and plan on staying, but it can be a downfall if you want the flexibility to move.

With commercial leases, a tenant is often responsible for a portion of the property taxes. This amount may be unknown if it is a brand-new building. A commercial lease also does not offer as many protections.

The good thing about commercial leases is that they are negotiable. This can work in your favor if you know what you want.

Important elements to be aware of

Some aspects of the lease are basic, although you want to gain clarity on what expenses for which you are responsible. FindLaw discusses that one important element to look for is transfer structure, as this outlines what happens to your lease in the event your business does not make it or you choose to move. Keep an eye out for rental increases and if you can make improvements to the property. You may also want to include an exclusivity clause, which ensures the landlord cannot lease space to one of your competitors.