Dos & Don'ts

Dos & Don'ts

Give Necessary Notice for Non-Lease Tenancy

August 22, 2016    

While many commercial leases are for several-year terms, it behooves some owners and tenants to opt for a month-to-month tenancy. If your tenancy runs month-to-month without a lease, don’t assume that you can just pick up and move because this is a less restrictive deal than a lease. Make...

Use New Leverage in Renegotiations

July 29, 2016    

If you’ve gained bargaining power by becoming a more financially sound or valuable tenant at your shopping center since you signed your first lease there, use it to your advantage during renegotiations for your space. Before sitting down with the owner, examine your lease to determine...

Don't Pay for CAM that Isn't Up to Par

July 29, 2016    

Before renegotiating your lease, review the bills for your common area maintenance (CAM) fees and operating expenses to determine whether they reflect the state of the property and the services you’re receiving as a tenant. Determine whether you’re getting your money’s worth...

Keep Track of Local CRE Market

July 29, 2016    

Tenants should periodically consult with an experienced broker to find out the fair market value of their space and the types of concessions, average amount of tenant improvement allowances, and other perks that nearby tenants are being offered. If your lease terms don’t reflect what...

Don't Forget Nonretail Portions of Center

June 29, 2016    

If you’re negotiating a lease for space at a mixed-use property, make sure you carefully examine what your lease definitions cover. Pay particular attention to the owner’s obligations for nonretail areas. Most shopping center leases use the term “shopping center” to...

Look for Signs That Owner Is in Financial Trouble

June 29, 2016    

The idea of signing a lease with a financially vulnerable owner may make you nervous. And if you’re already renting from an owner that you suspect is struggling, you may be afraid to renew your lease and stay at a property that could be in danger of being foreclosed upon. But sometimes, a...

Don't Rent Storage Space for Retail Use

June 27, 2014    

Occasionally, owners with spare storage areas try to rent them to retail tenants as commercial space. You may be tempted by an offer to rent this type of space because the rental rates are typically lower. But you may actually be exchanging your staff’s, your customers’, and your...

Don't Assume License Gives You Same Rights as Lease

June 27, 2014    

 

If you’re considering using a license agreement instead of a lease for space, make sure you understand that the rights you have under each type of contract differ to some degree. One of the significant differences is the owner’s ability to revoke a license and evict you...

Negotiate Very Short Initial Lease

June 27, 2014    

If you’re a new or small retailer on a limited budget, you may be hesitant about going into a shopping center—especially if you have to commit to a long-term lease—because you’re worried that your business could fail. You might end up having to downsize, change your...

Remind Owner of Duty to Cooperate

June 27, 2014    

Sometimes, it’s necessary for tenants to obtain sensitive financial information from owners. For example, if your lease for space at a center gives you the option to renew after three years at the same rate plus applicable taxes, you might base your decision partly on the amount of taxes...

Don't Fall Into Renewal Rent Increase Trap

May 30, 2014    

If you’ve been successful in your current space, you may feel that you should lock it down for another term as soon as possible if you have a renewal option and you’re nearing the end of your original lease term. But if you start the renewal process very early—say, six to 12...

Don't Accidentally Trigger Lease Default

May 30, 2014    

If you and the owner agree that giving up your space prematurely will trigger a lease default or another lease obligation, such as the payment of an early termination fee, be careful how you word the agreement in your lease. If you don’t draft your lease properly, a common error can leave...