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Commercial Leasing

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Commercial Leasing Law

You may be asking yourself “Do I really need to spend the money on hiring a lawyer to negotiate my commercial lease?”. The answer is, it depends. It depends on whether you really understand all your rights and obligations under the lease, and all of the landlord’s rights and obligations. Questions or comments we have heard over the years include:

  • Can my landlord force me to relocate to another unit?
  • Do I really have to pay to fix the roof/HVAC/parking lot?
  • Can the municipality stop me from having outside storage?
  • How come my competitor can conduct a certain business, but the municipality has told me that I cannot?
  • Why is the landlord charging me extra to fix my unit?
  • I wanted to stay for 10 years, but the landlord is refusing to renew my 5-year lease.
  • I thought my rent was $X per square foot. What are these extra charges I have to pay each month?
  • The electrical/plumbing/mechanical system does not support my business. Who is responsible for the cost of fixing/upgrading it?
  • The landlord is making me renovate, repaint, and install new flooring in the unit at the end of my lease, can they do that?
  • Can my landlord refuse to allow me to sublet/assign my lease, and require me to continue to operate and pay rent?

If you have such a great lease rate/business model that you can afford to pay for such hiccups, including a hiccup that could require you to pay rent, even though you cannot legally use the location, then you may not need legal advice at the outset. However, in most cases, the investment in getting good legal advice before signing anything, can pay huge dividends in the long run. You are running a business; do what you do well and let us help to ensure that you can run your business from the location you have selected.

OUR SERVICES

Commercial, retail, office, and industrial leasing agreements.

INDUSTRIAL/WAREHOUSE

Zoning, outside storage, permitted uses; do not get caught by entering into a lease that will not allow you to conduct your business. What do the local zoning regulations allow? Do you require outside storage? What is your intended use versus the permitted uses? An industrial lease usually involves a significant investment, whether due to the expense of the leasehold improvements or simply by virtue of the fact that you may be making lease payments for a large footprint for 5 years, 10 years or more. We can help you get what you need to operate your business, and help you avoid a situation that sees you paying for space you cannot use.

RETAIL

What do you need to make your retail business successful? We can help ensure that you either get what you need, or that you understand what you have. Signage, parking, hours of operation, relocation, renovation, obligation to actively conduct business, use of common areas, percentage rent, common area expenses, maintenance obligations, insurance; anchor tenant, the list goes on and on. Leases can be long and complicated. We have extensive experience in negotiating retail leases; let us use that experience to help you achieve your retail leasing goals. Already a party to a lease but having issues? We can help you understand your rights and obligations and can work with you to develop a strategy for moving forward.

OFFICE

Who can do what? That is what you need to understand before you sign your office lease. Does the tenant have to use the landlord’s contractors to make leasehold improvements, or can they hire their own? Can the landlord impose an obligation to relocate? Is the tenant entitled to any compensation if they have to relocate? Does the tenant have the right to access the premises 24/7 or are there limitations? Can the landlord enter the premises at any time? We will guide you through the process and help you understand your legal relationship with your landlord or tenant.