By Wendy O’Brien
A commercial lease can be an extremely onerous contract and expert legal advice is essential from the negotiation stage through the point of signing the original lease and related documents.
Business Dictionary defines a commercial lease as an “agreement between a landlord and a business outlining terms and conditions of property rental”. Additionally, it “is specific to renters using the property for business or other commercial purposes versus residential use.”
Like mentioned, a commercial lease carries characteristics that sets it apart from residential leases. It has fewer consumer protection laws, has no standard forms, is long-term and binding, and is both negotiable and flexible.
It can come in several main forms according to Forbes:
– Single Net Lease (or simply Net Lease) – tenant only pays utilities and property tax; landlord pays maintenance, repairs, and insurance
– Net-Net (or Double Net) Lease – tenant is responsible for only utilities, property taxes, and insurance premiums for the building; landlord pays maintenance and repairs
– Triple Net Lease – tenant is responsible for all costs of the building, except the landlord is generally responsible for structural repairs.
– Full Service Gross, or Modified Gross Lease (also called modified net lease) – split structural repairs and operating expenses (property taxes, property insurance, common area maintenance, and utilities) between the tenant and landlord called ‘base rent’.
Renting commercial space is a big responsibility for your business, as its success or failure can be determined partly by certain terms of the lease. Identifying, negotiating, and signing a commercial lease is a long process, and it is absolutely essential that you have a clear and ample understanding of it.
And as a prospective tenant, it is important that you are able to gather and arm yourself with information that you must know before you fully commit to the terms of the commercial lease. This can be achieved by knowing and asking the right questions before making a solid decision.
Here are the questions that you should be asking, according to this infographic by Amorys Solicitors: