Feature Articles

Demand That Owner Include Environmental Warranty in Your Lease

February 28, 2017    

Relying on oral assurances from the owner of your prospective commercial real estate space is risky. The consequences can range from you being aggravated—for example, if an adjacent tenant that was portrayed during negotiations as being quiet ends up compromising your right to quiet...

Push for Unusual Concessions During Negotiations

February 28, 2017    

Vacancy rates are still a struggle for shopping center and office building owners in some areas. Maybe the local economy isn’t robust and businesses aren’t interested in new office space, an owner’s projections for how much foot traffic a center will see were higher in theory...

Set Reasonable Limits on Access and Alterations Right

February 28, 2017    

Most leases give the owner broad rights to alter or rearrange the building’s or center’s common areas, including entrances, passageways, corridors, doorways, stairs, elevators, and other public parts of the building or center. But while making such alterations, the owner may decide...

Negotiating in an Uncertain Market

February 28, 2017    

Q: My business is expanding and has done well in what has become a “tenant’s market.” I worry that, given the current political climate, the market may become unsteady again. I’ll be looking at prospective retail...

Focus on Buildout Provision When Negotiating for New Space

January 31, 2017    

Many times, office or retail spaces—and especially those that are in brand new office buildings or shopping centers—aren’t built out beyond being so-called “plain vanilla box spaces,” which typically include ceilings, lighting, plumbing, heating and cooling...

Include Three Requirements When Negotiating Lease’s Exclusive Use

January 31, 2017    

Typically, when a retail or restaurant tenant looks at prospective space in a shopping center, it wants to know about the other tenants. After all, synergy—the way that tenants’ uses work together to be beneficial for all of them—and competition are keys to success in that...

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...

Draft Rights and Remedies into Lease for Property Under Construction

January 31, 2017    

Q: I signed a lease for space in a building that’s still under construction. The owner has run into financial trouble and is halting construction—even though the work has already started and several tenants have committed to...

Stay Out of Shadow of Other Tenant's Advertising

January 31, 2017    

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...

Don't Get Stuck with Inaccurate Water Bills

January 31, 2017    

Disputes over things as seemingly insignificant as the amount of utility bills at a commercial property can result in protracted litigation. Water costs are especially confusing; an owner’s failure to install water meters for each unit on the property and bill tenants individually for...

Protect Yourself from Being Blindsided by Owner's Billing Delays

December 22, 2016    

In addition to rent, tenants are typically responsible for costs or fees. This can include overtime heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC); parking charges; common area maintenance; taxes; or insurance. You might think that if you’ve specified the way they are calculated in the...

Ensure Right to Expand Use of Space

December 22, 2016    

Tenant synergy—that is, stores functioning together to draw shoppers that a center normally wouldn’t capture without them as a group—can make or break a tenant’s and a center’s profitability. That’s why savvy owners devise a strategy to have each tenant commit...