This seems like a simple matter, but money can get complicated. Let’s break down each piece.
If your landlord gives you a tenant improvement allowance, you should decide how and when it will be paid, what it includes (including soft costs such as architectural fees, legal fees, building permit fees, signage costs, moving costs, etc.), and what happens if the landlord fails to pay you back for reimbursable costs. You may want to require the landlord to place the money in escrow.
Rent can be as easy as paying a flat amount monthly for everything you need to operate in your space. It can also include complicated formulas broken into parts. Here are some items that might be included in your rent:
- Property Taxes: address special assessments in this item.
- Insurance: find out about premiums and what happens when prices increase.
- Common Areas Maintenance: this is often shared between the landlord and other tenants; but the wrong formula can be costly.
- Utilities: make a detailed list of who pays what. If the landlord pays utilities, make sure that it’s not a profit center for them.
- Capital Expenses: do you have to pay for any capital expenses? If so, how and when?
If any part of your rent is based on a formula, then get the right to audit and review the books and records and to reconcile statements.
The ability to abate your rent based on defaults is one of the most powerful ways to force your landlord to comply with the lease. Otherwise you have to take them to court and get an order, which can take a long time.