Don't Miss Opportunity to Exercise Option

June 12, 2011
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It’s important to bargain effectively for lease options, such as the right to extend your lease. Lease options entitle commercial tenants to valuable rights, but they’re often hard to negotiate with the building’s owner. And you may lose those rights inadvertently if you’re not careful. Lessen your chances of unintentionally losing the options included in your lease by closely monitoring deadlines and giving effective notice.

One of the most common ways tenants inadvertently lose an option is by failing to notify the owner of their intent to exercise the option by the option deadline. Missing the deadline by even a few days could be costly for you.

Another way you may inadvertently lose your option is to send a defective option notice. For example, your lease may require you to include certain information or documents in your notice or to include a payment. If you fail to send that information, document, or payment with your notice, the owner may argue that you didn’t effectively exercise the option.

If you typically aren’t vigilant about tracking deadlines, include a reminder notice requirement in the lease’s options clause. Obligate the owner to send you a reminder notice informing you of upcoming option deadlines. The owner should send you the reminder notice early enough before the option deadline so you’ll have sufficient time to decide if you’re going to exercise the option--ideally, at least 60 to 90 days before the deadline.