Commercial Lease

Commercial Lease Attorney Philadelphia

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Commercial Leasing?

Commercial leasing is the process by which a landowner or leasing company rents out a plot of land or storefront to renters. Business owners cannot just set up shop. Often, business owners need to contact and seek approval from the landowner before proceeding with the business.

Potential business owners meet with the landowner and negotiate a contract. Even large franchises need to deal with leasing if they do not own the building. The lease tends to happen in two ways. Either the landowner or leasing company will have a form lease or they will create one based on the negotiations.

More often than not, a commercial lease is not a form lease. A form lease is a standard lease for the company. Likely, the landowner will not entertain changes to a form lease. Landlords craft these leases over time to accommodate preferences or previous problems. With a looser commercial lease, the landlord will engage in more negotiations.

It is more common that the landlord or leasing company will negotiate the terms of the lease. It is, therefore, imperative to understand the lease. You could be signing a worse lease than your neighbor. Understand your needs and have legal counsel look over the document to make sure it is legally sound before agreeing to it.

No matter how you negotiate the lease, you must do one thing above all else. You must obtain and sign the lease. A court will not honor an oral lease in many situations. A lease is essentially a contract in the eyes of the law. It is far harder to prove the terms of a commercial lease if you did not reduce the terms into writing. Get a commercial lease written down. Sign it. Keep a copy for your records as well as addendums or updates to the commercial leasing contract.

Commercial vs. Residential Leases

If you have never obtained a commercial lease before, the extent of your knowledge stops at residential leases. In this vein, it is important to understand key differences between a residential and commercial lease.

What are the key differences between a residential and commercial lease? The key differences are few but important.

  • Protection Laws
    Residential renters have a great deal of protection. Residential leases provide an individual with a right to privacy, free from high deposits, rent, and other key protections. Commercial leases do not have these same level of protections.
  • Getting Out Of The Lease
    The law expects that residential leases are not long-term. Commercial leases have a presumption of long-term; therefore, getting out of the lease is costly.

Commercial Lease Key Issues

No matter the commercial lease you decide to sign, include these key terms:

  • Rent. This may seem silly, but never trust any lease without a specified rent amount. For commercial leases, the rent may fluctuate depending on a number of factors including the season. Make sure that you know how the landlord calculates the rent. Be to know what the rent includes.
  • Length. Residential leases typically last one full calendar year. Commercial leases can be yearly or monthly. Make sure your lease specifies the length terms.
  • Fees. Any extra fees should be in writing. If a landlord surprises you with extra fees, you’ll know it is outside the terms of the lease.
  • Responsibilities. The lease should outline which party is responsible for repairs, snow removal, etc.
  • The specific areas included in the lease. If someone slips in the hallway between two businesses, you’ll want to know who is responsible for it.

This list is not exhaustive. Contact legal advice to learn more.

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