Negotiating a great lease is essential to the long-term viability of your practice. Don’t meekly accept whatever crumbs your landlord wants to throw your way.
You deserve better than that!
You’ve got a lot to lose if you don’t negotiate effectively.
That’s why it pays to be cautious when you’re negotiating a lease for the first time or renegotiating one. Here are a few things to keep in mind when during lease negotiations:
1. Make sure you allow enough time to draw up your lease.
You should start negotiating a lease at least six months (and preferably one year) before the lease is due to go into effect. This gives you enough time to plan. If there isn’t enough time, your options will dwindle away.
And soon, you’ll become desperate.
Your landlord will sense this desperation. This makes you easy pickings come negotiation time. Allowing for sufficient time makes sure everything gets done properly, and in a way that’s satisfactory to you.
You also want to have enough notice if you need to vacate your current digs.
And even though you’re busy, you need to allow time to scout out alternative locations if your lease negotiations fall apart.
2. Review your lease with a proverbial fine-tooth comb.
Despite what the landlord says, you never have to accept terms you’re not happy with. So, take all the time you need to fully understand your lease provisions.
Leases are written by the landlord, so they favor him.
They’re often written from a template. And frequently, the wording forgets to be changed from one tenant to another.
This makes for mistakes creeping in that could have a negative impact on you.
One of the areas where mistakes arise is Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees. These fees are what you pay for the servicing of space that all tenants use. If your share of these fees is based on how many tenants the landlord has, the more tenants that move out, the higher your share will be.
Some tenants’ CAM fees rise so much, they’re as much as their rent. Make sure your CAMs are based on the total rentable square feet, and not the total rented square feet.
Also, ask for a report on the previous year’s CAMs to see about how much they run. This report also gives you a chance to see if the expenses are legit.
Sometimes, landlords sneak in charges they shouldn’t.
If you fail to do that, you could be in for a rude awakening.
Even after signing a lease, review it regularly to make sure that the terms still serve your needs. Or even better, have a broker well-versed in the language of leases do it for you.
On Monday, we'll go over points three and four.
Call us today, and we'll review your lease for free!