Drafting Tips

Making Repair and Rent Provisions Dependent on Each Other

May 31, 2016    

At some point during your tenancy, your space could be damaged. Extreme weather has increasingly been destroying office buildings and shopping centers, and fires, plumbing issues, and vandalism are always risks that lurk in the background. So it’s crucial that you include a repair...

Define Protections in Specialty Insurance Coverage

April 17, 2015    

Damage that isn’t covered by a comprehensive insurance policy can tank a tenant’s business. You may think about insurance in the context of protecting potential losses after you move into a retail or office space. But if typical, general insurance isn’t enough for you, there is...

Set High 'Soft Cost' Limits in TIA Clause

July 31, 2014    

During lease negotiations you and the owner of the space you’re considering renting will probably discuss a tenant improvement allowance (TIA) that will help you pay for the cost of altering your new office building or shopping center space. This discussion is important. After all, a...

Link Late Fees to Direct Deposit of Rent Payments

May 28, 2012    

Despite the growing popularity—and convenience—of using direct deposit or wire transfer (that is, depositing funds directly into another bank account), your owner could refuse to give you the right to pay your rent this way. Instead, it could require you to pay your rent with a...

Don't Let Owner Set Low Cap on Refurbishment Allowance

October 30, 2011    

If you're only halfway through your office lease term but your space is looking shabby, you may feel that the rent you'll be paying during the last few years of the lease will be higher than the outdated space will be worth at that point. For example, the rent at year seven of your 10-...

Specify Fixtures You May Remove at Lease's End

September 27, 2011    

If your lease for commercial space is nearing its end, and you plan to move out instead of renewing the lease, you may have to deal with the owner's request—or demand—to leave certain items in the space. But this can lead to a dispute if you think that you're entitled to take...

Get Other Tenants' Exclusive Use Clauses Before Drafting Your Own

July 31, 2011    

When you're negotiating a shopping center lease, you'll want to know about the exclusives that other tenants in the center have that you'll have to honor. But don't rely on just a summary from the owner—it could make a mistake by leaving out an exclusive or misstating the...

Renegotiating Stronger Lease Terms

February 11, 2011    

As a retail tenant, you know that typical commercial leases are long term—anywhere from five to as many as 25 or more years, often with options to renew for longer periods of time. If you had just started your business or were struggling when you signed the lease for your current space,...

Negotiating HVAC Rights, Responsibilities

October 31, 2010    

The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment used at office buildings and shopping centers is very expensive. Many tenants worry that, if there are no provisions in their lease specifying which of the potential HVAC issues related to their space owners are responsible for...

Make Arbitration Work for You

June 18, 2009    

Many commercial leases include language about using arbitration in case any disputes arise between the owner and tenant. Arbitration often is viewed as a more economical, more private, and “friendlier” way to resolve disputes, compared to traditional legal action. But there can be...

Protect Your Storefront Signage During Building Work

October 28, 2008    

Owners want to be able to repair or restore their building whenever the need arises. But disputes often arise when an owner wants to remove or cover a tenant's storefront sign during building work. As a tenant, you want protection when the work requires the covering or removal of your...

Commercial Real Estate Terminology from A to Z

March 31, 2008    

It's no secret that most commercial tenants are at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with their building owner's lease. In addition to the lease usually being written in favor of the owner, the terminology and conditions can be confusing. While you might think that the frequent use...

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