As most New York business owners know, it is difficult to find commercial space in the city and surrounding areas. Not only are options limited, rent can be exorbitant. If you found a place to establish your business operations, you understand how important it is to protect yourself with an appropriate commercial lease.

In many cases, commercial leases are negotiable. This means you may be able to pursue specific terms that are beneficial for your business and protect you from unnecessary and costly complications in the future. It sometimes requires aggressive legal representation during both the negotiation of the lease, as well as during a situation in which it is necessary to defend the terms of the lease.

A commercial lease that works for your business

A good commercial lease is thoughtfully worded and legally enforceable. This requires knowledge of the law, familiarity with commercial tenants’ rights and experience in dealing with difficult landlords. Before you sign, it is crucial to carefully evaluate the proposed lease agreement and seek terms that are fair and may be better for your business. Some of the most basic elements of a strong commercial lease agreement include the following:

  • Specific terms regarding the rent amount, including potential rent increases in the future and their frequency
  • Which party is responsible for repairs that may be necessary over the course of the lease, as well as who will pay for any remodeling that needs to be done
  • How long the lease will last and what will happen if the tenant needs to break the lease early
  • Clear description of what parts of the property are for use by the tenant, including kitchens, bathrooms, parking lots, adjacent lots and more
  • Policies regarding potential alterations of the building if necessary for the business
  • Subletting policies and adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act

A tenacious defense of the interests of your business during the negotiating phase can help you avoid problems. However, in the event that your landlord violates your rights as a tenant or the terms of your lease, you may be able to pursue legal recourse for your inconvenience and financial losses.

Think before you sign

A commercial lease is an important part of renting space you need for your business, but you would be wise to be careful how you proceed. Think before you sign, and proceed only after careful consideration of the terms or negotiation of better terms. There is a lot at stake for your business, and seeking appropriate guidance is a smart first step for you during the lease process.

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