Renting a commercial space is a big responsibility and can majorly impact the success or failure of your business, so it is important to understand the difference between leases for commercial real estate and residential real estate before approaching a landlord. Both legally and practically speaking, commercial and residential leases are very different. Here are some main distinctions between the two:
- No standard agreements. Typically commercial real estate leases are not based on a standard agreement or form, but instead each lease is customized to the needs of the landlord. This means that you as a tenant need to carefully examine each lease agreement different landlords offer.
- Less legal consumer protection. Commercial leases do not have the same protection laws that are in place in residential leases. For instance, there are no rules to protect a tenant’s privacy or limits on security deposits.
- Long, binding terms. It is difficult to break or change a commercial lease, as it is a legally binding contract involving a lot of money.
- Flexibility and Negotiability. One of positive differences from a commercial lease is that they are typically subject to more negotiation potential than residential leases, since landlords are often in need of tenants and willing to extend special offers or accommodate special features that businesses might need.
You might already be an expert on residential leases, but make sure you understand how commercial leases differ before you enter into negotiations for a space!