Representing Businesses and Individuals in Chicago and Northern Illinois

Know what terms you need to address in your commercial lease

In the grand scheme of things, commercial leases are nothing more than contracts. They are binding, which means that those who break them can be taken to court and potentially face a judgment. Most people want to avoid the costs and headaches associated with these disputes, which is why it is critical that you only agree to well-negotiated, well-drafted lease agreements. In order to do that, though, you need to understand some key points of a commercial lease agreement.

Key terms of a commercial lease agreement

Everyone knows that these leases contain terms that speak to obvious issues like term and costs, but there are a lot of nuances that have to be taken into consideration, too. Think about the following:

  • Who will maintain common areas: Upkeep on common areas can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Who will pay property taxes, insurance, and overall maintenance: These expenses can be rolled into the lease rate, but they don’t have to be. Over the course of a lease term, though, these costs can be enormous.
  • How will improvements be made and who will make them: You probably shouldn’t sign off on a lease if you want to make changes to the property but haven’t specified how that will occur.
  • What limitations are on the property’s use: Regardless of which side of an agreement you’re on, you need to have a clear understanding of the boundaries of the property’s use. If you don’t have that understanding, then you risk violating the lease’s terms and facing legal action.

Be prepared to negotiate

Although a lot of lease agreements contain boilerplate language, that doesn’t prevent you from negotiating some of these terms when doing so is in your best interests. In fact, settling for unfavorable terms can leave you locked into a horrible position for years, which could affect your bottom line and even your business’s reputation. So, instead of merely settling for the minimum, consider working with an attorney who can help you negotiate and/or create the commercial lease that is right for you.