Ten key issues for a tenant to address in negotiating a lease

Leasing – Ten Key Issues for a Tenant to Address in Negotiating a Lease


The following are ten key issues for a tenant to address in negotiating a lease:

  1. A full understanding of the premises being leased is necessary, including the parking available and ensuring adequate access.
  2. Most leases have the tenant paying for operating costs, either on a net basis or for increases in expenses over a base year on a gross basis. You need a complete understanding of these numbers and attempt to minimize this cost before signing.
  3. Make sure that the zoning allows the planned use of the property and that all governmental approvals have been or will be obtained prior to occupancy.
  4. Obtain early access to the premises following lease signing, as many buildings require modifications to accommodate tenants.
  5. If construction modifications are necessary, negotiate a favorable work letter.
  6. Have the landlord warrant that the property is in compliance with all applicable laws at lease signing, and that they will be responsible for any improvements required by changes in the law during the lease term.
  7. Try to obtain an option to purchase if it is a single-tenant building.
  8. Seek an early termination right and an option to extend the lease.
  9. Reduce late charges to a reasonable amount.
  10. Delete any release or exemption of landlord liability provisions.

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