Your lease will most likely be your biggest monthly expense besides your employees and yourself. It will also most likely be your longest obligation. Leases can run from one month, to a few years, to longer than a decade. It makes sense then to make sure you do your best to get it right.
But that’s not easy considering all the parties involved and the uncertainty of the future. You have landlords, bankers, brokers, attorneys, insurers, property managers, contractors, architects, and business owners. Your business might be wildly successful or go bust (let’s hope for success). The economy might change. Disasters can happen. And the list goes on and on.
Yet many business owners just sign the lease given them by the landlord without much consideration to their own interests and their future. They just want to get into a space and start doing business. That’s not always a wise course to take.
There are traps for the unwary. The landlord doesn’t necessarily set these traps on purpose. The landlord normally gives you what the landlord’s lawyer drafted; the same lawyer who advocates for the landlord, so you’ll more than likely get a landlord-favored lease. You also need to consider that the lawyer often cuts and pastes old leases together, not completely realizing what’s in the lease. This can lead to disastrous results. So it makes sense for all parties to take a step back and negotiate and draft a lease that works for all parties.