A commercial lease sets out the legal terms of the agreement between a commercial property owner and the business owner that wishes to rent the property. Both parties have specific legal rights and responsibilities during the landlord-tenant relationship and you always want to ensure that your commercial lease covers all necessary issues fairly. Some leases may use complicated legal jargon that is difficult to understand and you may therefore not notice a provision that may be unfair or unconscionable.1
If you are a landlord, your ability to pay your mortgage and earn a living generally depend upon having a strong commercial lease agreement that will ensure you receive adequate rent and can hold the tenant liable for misconduct in regard to the property. Conversely, many businesses depend upon a physical location to conduct operations and, therefore, having protections from evictions or other adverse interference by a landlord is imperative.
Examples of Risky Commercial Lease Clauses
Some issues that may be set out in a commercial lease that may negatively impact a commercial tenant may include the following:
- Placing responsibility on the tenant for various (and sometimes variable) costs
- Allowing the landlord to terminate the lease early
- Prohibiting subleases2 for extra space in the property
- Creating personal liability for the business obligations under the lease
- Requiring the tenant to pay taxes in relation to the sale of the property
These are only a few provisions that may be effectively hidden in a commercial lease and may not be noticed by a prospective tenant prior to signing. Such terms can cause significant issues later in the lease and may even jeopardize the entire business.
Contact an experienced real estate attorney for help today
At the Dickson Frohlich Phillips Burgess, our experienced real estate lawyers know how to successfully negotiate, draft, and review commercial leases to make sure your rights are sufficiently protected. You should never enter into any type of contract without first having an experienced attorney review the terms, especially not a contract as important as a commercial lease.
CALL ONE OF OFFICES TODAY IN SEATTLE OR TACOMA AT (206) 621-1110 OR (253) 572-1000 TO DISCUSS HOW WE CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR COMMERCIAL LEASE.