Even if you feel like you understand the main terms you will be negotiating in a commercial lease, it is important to make sure you are also aware of the minor clauses you will encounter, as they can add up to a more successful and convenient tenancy. Here are a few final lease clauses to be aware of:
9. Improvements and Alterations. If you need to make some changes to a space to fit your business’s needs, you need to address this issue in the lease. You and your landlord will have to discuss who pays for it, when it needs to be finished by, who does the work, and who gets final say on design.
10. Utilities, Maintenance, and Code Compliance. A lease will most likely contain a clause spelling out the landlord’s expectations for how you care for your rented space. Often this goes along with a utilities clause if you are a tenant in a multi-tenant building, which settles how the utilities for the building will be billed and paid for. Finally, there will probably be mention in the lease of the landlord’s expectation that you keep the space “up to code” (the meaning of this is often vague). This clause is sometimes titled “Compliance with Laws” or just “Compliance.”
11. Parking, Signs, Etc. There will probably be several clauses in the lease that address practical concerns such as signage, parking, security, etc. The goal of these negotiations is to find ways to be able to run your business wisely and still comply with your landlords requirements. These clauses might not seem as weighty as ones that address rent and other major concerns, but they are still an essential part of a successful and convenient tenancy.
Do some research and be prepared for your negotiations!