Start Lease Negotiations Sufficiently Far in Advance

November 30, 2011
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Q: When should I start negotiating with the owner of the space I rent about renewing my lease?

A: It’s going to take longer than you think to do the deal. According to most commercial leasing experts, most tenants don’t start negotiating far enough in advance. Tenants will start negotiating their lease a couple of months before it expires, when they should have started their lease-renewal negotiations nine months in advance.

Many law firms charge by the project, not by the hour. In other words, they charge the same fee whether the tenant gives the law firm’s lawyers three months or nine months--but the lawyers often get a better result for the tenants when there’s more time. Moreover, if there are three months left and the owner is threatening to increase your rent, you don’t have much time to find a new place.