Dos & Don'ts

Don't Be Forced into Continuous Operation

May 30, 2013    

Most retail tenants don’t want to be forced to open or continuously operate at their space. That’s because if their business suffers financially, it may be better to not open or go dark rather than lose money. What if your lease doesn’t say that you’re required to open or...

Investigate Space Before Signing Lease

May 30, 2013    

If you’re about to rent space for a use that’s unusual or new for the space, check that the space is in a condition that’s suitable for your intended use or any future use you’re contemplating. Otherwise, you could get stuck with a lease for space that you can’t use...

Negotiate Early Termination Options

February 27, 2013    

Make sure that you carve out a right to an early termination of your lease. There are a variety of reasons why tenants would need to use that right. For example, you might run out of room in your space and the owner can’t accommodate expansion. Or your business model has changed and this...

Don't Allow Consent to Be Unreasonably Delayed

February 27, 2013    

Make sure that the owner’s consent to changes that you’re entitled to make under the lease is not unreasonably withheld, conditioned, or delayed. Whether an owner has an obligation to be reasonable in granting or withholding consent is state specific. So, if you want to ensure that...

Get Current Floor Plans for Space

February 27, 2013    

Before you sign a lease, get current floor plans or architectural drawings for the space you’re considering. Only current floor plans or architectural drawings—as opposed to typical floor plans or plates—will show you exactly how the space is arranged and divided. That’s...

Don't Use Latin Phrases in Lease

February 27, 2013    

Avoid using Latin phrases, such as ipso facto and inter alia, in your leases. Instead, use English words that mean the same thing. For example, instead of saying “ipso facto” say “of itself” or “by the mere fact.” And instead of saying...

Don't Let Other Tenant’s Lease Terms Dictate Yours

February 27, 2013    

Whether you’re negotiating a renewal option for a new lease or negotiating a renewal of your existing lease, don’t agree simply to base your renewal terms on another tenant’s lease terms or on comparable lease transactions, also known as “lease comps,” that the...

Pay Accurate Share of Taxes

October 26, 2012    

Paying your share of your office building or shopping center’s property taxes during your term is fair and reasonable. After all, paying property taxes is no different from paying your share of other common area maintenance (CAM) costs or operating expenses, such as insurance or security-...

Don't Negotiate Renewal Near End of Lease Term

July 16, 2012    

Don’t put off lease renewal negotiations until the last minute, says Bosch. “A tenant that misses a renewal or fails to have a term-specific automatic renewal provision is subject to just about anything the owner dictates,” she says.

Don't Ignore Minor ADA Violations

July 3, 2012    

Don't be unconcerned about Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations in your store or office because you don't think the government will discover those violations—or because you don't want to spend the money to correct the violations unless you're forced to. Most ADA...

Check Accuracy of Notice to Cure

July 3, 2012    

When you get a notice to cure—a document that informs you of an alleged lease violation and gives you an opportunity to correct it—you'll want to act quickly or your lease could get cancelled. But don't act so quickly that you don't carefully analyze the notice first to...

Don't Let Owner Use Your Trade Names Without Authorization

July 3, 2012    

If you're a high-profile tenant, chances are that the owner of your office building or shopping center wants to mention you—and your recognizable trade names, trademarks, logos, or designs—in its marketing materials or on its Web site. This can help the owner attract prospective...