What You Need to Know Before You Sign That Commercial Lease

Congratulations! Your hard work continues to pay off. Your business is expanding and you need to rent a commercial space. The location is perfect and you can afford the rent. But before you sign that 15 page lease make sure you can answer these 11 questions:

1. Does the landlord have the legal right to rent you the space?

2. Does the landlord have a bad reputation?

3. When does your tenancy begin, and what happens if the landlord doesn’t or can’t provide possession?

4. If you need to adjust (a.k.a. “build-out”) the space who’s responsible? How will it be done? And by when?

5. Is the space in good repair, and who’s responsible if something breaks?

6. Is the space in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations?

7. What happens if you or the landlord break (a.k.a. default under) the terms of the lease?

8. Under what circumstances can you end your lease before the end of the term?

9. Can you assign your lease or sublet your space?

10. Under what circumstances can you extend the term of your lease?

11. Under what circumstances will the landlord return your deposit?

There is a lot more to consider, but at a minimum make sure you can answer these 11 questions. Additionally, it is always best to consult with an attorney.