Traps to Avoid

Make Sure You Aren’t Converting Utilities in Violation of Lease

April 19, 2017    

If you are the assignee on a lease, you might move into the space thinking that everything is status quo and that the assignor was complying with the lease provisions. But it’s important to do your own due diligence, as much as possible, to determine whether there are violations that would...

Avoid 'Promissory Estoppel' Claim for Prospective Space

January 31, 2017    

While touring office building or shopping center spaces, a tenant may get enthusiastic about a particular space or deal, and begin to talk about the property as though it’s already planning to move in. Tenants sometimes do this when they have competition and want the owner to keep them in...

Don't Assume Owner's Employee Has Actual Authority

September 30, 2016    

Commercial property owners, and especially those that own large or multiple properties, are likely to have several employees. But only certain members of a staff of professionals who help them operate their properties will have the official power to make lease deals. However, for your lease you...

Get the CAM Service Quality Specified in Lease

February 26, 2016    

It’s frustrating for a tenant that has spent time and money negotiating for certain lease rights to turn around and find that they are being disregarded. While some lease rights are of a nature where it’s very clear that they are being violated, it can be hard to prove that certain...

Don't Get Stuck Paying for Mold Remediation

June 26, 2015    

Finding mold in your space can spell disaster for you. Health problems for employees or visitors who have been exposed to mold are a major concern, but mold can also be costly—destroying inventory or shutting down your business while it’s remediated, which also is an expensive...

Don't Risk Being Overlooked After Relocation

August 25, 2014    

Whether you’re an office or a retail tenant, it’s disruptive to your business if you relocate to another space in the building or center, either permanently or temporarily. But relocation creates a special problem for retail tenants: How will shoppers find them in their new...

Don't Omit Two Key Items in Commencement Date Notice

June 27, 2014    

Don’t underestimate the importance of your lease’s commencement date. The lease’s expiration, the start of rent payments, and deadlines for exercising rights and options, among other key lease items, are based on that date. But it’s not always easy to set a commencement...

Avoid Building Services Overcharges and Disputes

August 27, 2013    

When negotiating a lease, you probably focus most of your attention on the lease’s base rent and additional rent clauses. But there are other, vital clauses that can have a big impact on your use and enjoyment of your space, as well as on your cash flow. A major area that tenants overlook...

Avoid Ambiguity When Describing Allocation of Taxes

July 30, 2013    

It’s fair and reasonable for an owner to ask you to pay your share of your office building or shopping center’s property taxes during your lease term. After all, paying property taxes is no different from paying your share of other common area maintenance (CAM) costs or operating...

Think Twice Before Withholding Rent for Minor Alterations to Space

April 26, 2012    

After a recent New York case, it may be more difficult for tenants to prevail on certain claims for rent abatement. You can no longer assume you'll be entitled to rent abatement if the owner makes improvements or alterations you haven't agreed to or that aren't mentioned in the lease...

Limit Reimbursement to Owner if You Walk Away from Lease

March 7, 2012    

Commercial leases can be expensive to draft. In some cases, if a prospective tenant walks away from a deal after the owner has spent time and money preparing an individualized lease with tailored rights and options, the owner is stuck with a useless document—and the costs of creating it...

Don't Risk Being in Shadow of Competitor's Billboard

February 8, 2011    

Many commercial leases include language that limits the size of billboards and signage on the roof or exterior, or in the common areas of the office building or shopping center. But tenants sometimes forget to negotiate restrictions on the content of those billboards and signs. It's a...

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