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Be cautious before you sign a commercial lease agreement

When you find the perfect space for your Virginia company, you may be excited to move ahead as soon as possible. It can be quite difficult to find the right kind of storefront, warehouse or commercial building for your business, but there are plenty of reasons you should proceed cautiously and carefully. One way you can do this is by negotiating the terms of your commercial lease.

If you sign a lease, the terms of this agreement will impact your company for a long time. Landlords often have standard agreements they ask tenants to sign, but this may not be in your best interests. It could be more prudent for you to try and negotiate the terms, seeking a lease that will provide security for your company long-term. Whether you are drafting an agreement or reviewing a contract before signing, there are important things you will need to take into consideration. 

How much is rent? 

Rent is one of the most important aspects of a commercial lease agreement. Obviously, a lease should spell out how much rent is each month and when payments are due, but this is not all. You will want to consider including terms that outline how potential rent increases would work and what happens if you make a late payment. Additionally, you’ll want to know exactly what your rent payment covers, such as utilities, insurance and more. 

How long is the lease?

commercial lease agreement should contain terms that spell out how long the lease will be valid. Whether it’s months or years, you need to know how long your company will have to abide by the terms of your agreement. Once you sign it, breaking the lease or violating the terms could lead to legal complications and the potential for financial loss. 

Do you need to improve the space?

The space you are leasing may not be move-in ready. You may want or need to make changes to it to make it more suitable for the unique operations of your business, or perhaps there are things that need repair before you open. Either way, you will want to be sure your commercial lease is clear on which party is responsible for repairs, remodeling costs and any changes that you want to make to the space.

Where should you start?

Before you sign a lease or commit to anything that will impact your business, you may want to start by seeking the assistance of an experienced real estate attorney. Your legal ally can review the terms of a contract or negotiate terms on your behalf. This help can prove invaluable as it will reduce the chance of mistakes and complications that could expose your business to financial loss and other issues.