Dos & Don'ts

Secure Title Report Before Signing Lease

November 30, 2008    

If you plan on signing a lease soon, make sure you get a title report first, says St. Louis attorney Craig A. Olschansky. A title report will list any use restrictions on the building or center where you plan to lease space. If you fail to secure a report, you might find out—after you'...

Check Lease, State Law Before Sending Notices via Email

November 30, 2008    

To save time and money, you may be tempted to send the owner notices by email, but you should check the notice section of your lease first. Many leases—particularly older ones—don't include email as a method that tenants and owners can use to send required notices. Instead, they...

Show Lease to Insurance Experts Before Signing It

November 30, 2008    

Make sure that you consult risk managers—such as your in-house risk manager, outside insurance broker, and/or insurance attorney—before signing your lease. These experts should review your insurance documents, the lease's insurance provisions, and any areas where the insurance...

Get Asbestos Notification in Writing

September 30, 2008    

If you lease space in a building constructed before 1981, ask the owner or manager about giving you an asbestos disclosure. The law requires owners of such buildings to notify their tenants of the presence and location of asbestos-containing material (ACM) and presumed asbestos-containing...

Address Whether 'Premises' Includes Area Above Dropped/Suspended Ceiling

September 30, 2008    

If the space you want to lease has a dropped or suspended ceiling, make sure that your lease's definition of “Premises” addresses the area above the drop or suspension. Otherwise, you could get into a battle with the owner over who should maintain that area.

Make Automatic Renewal Clause as Specific as Possible

March 1, 2008    

If you agree to an automatic renewal, make sure that the automatic renewal's terms are as specific as possible, says Pilar Bosch, a partner in the Miami office of Baker & McKenzie LLP. First, make sure you have the sole right to cancel the automatic renewal. Also, negotiate rent for the...

Check Accuracy of Notice to Cure

July 31, 2007    

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...

Tie Rent Hike to Rent Commencement Anniversary

July 31, 2007    

If you negotiate to get free rent at the beginning of your lease term, specify when the owner can schedule the first rent increase. Typically, rent increases on the anniversary of the lease commencement date. However, by stipulating that rent can increase on the anniversary of the end of the...