Commercial Leases - What You Need to Know Part I

Are you a tenant of a commercial location or do you intend to move soon or become a tenant? No better time than now to brush up on all of the attributes involved in a commercial lease. Most commercial leases are either a "Full Service" or “Triple Net” (you may see initials “NNN” in some introductory language that indicates a triple net lease). If you are not fully versed in the differences between full service and triple net lease agreement, then it's best to get an appointment to see your hated lawyer.

This blog post will not yet give you the attorney’s version of the differences. Rather let us create the start of a checklist for main items that you need to consider regardless of whether you enter into a full-service lease or a triple net lease. As each lease stands on its own, the below themes are not all encompassing, but rather focus on the broad topics.

Create a Check List

  1. Consider where you lease is. Define the exact location. A legal description is required on the lease agreement and it's important to know what that legal description means. Be familiar with the "CCR's" (Covenants, Conditions, and Restriction.) It's important to know if the signage or building colors you have in mind are allowed. The location you choose may also have zoning restrictions or a strict landlord that will not guarantee that you can use the space for your intended purposes. I have seen this fiasco too many times.

  2. What exactly are you leasing? Make sure you know if you are just leasing space between two walls or an entire building with part of the outside grounds. You'll want to know this when considering the expense of building and grounds upkeep. Also, know if there are "common areas" you will be sharing with other tenants.

Next time we will discuss parking arrangement for your employees and customers as well as assumptions that you should never make when signing a lease.