It’s always a very good idea to read carefully anything you sign your name to. And that pertains to a lease, whether residential or commercial. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because there will very likely be wording or terms that are unclear. Retain a lawyer and seek clarification if something is particularly confusing or if you wish to have certain items amended or added to the lease.
In general, commercial leases are apt to be more negotiable than residential leases as businesses often require special features for their spaces and landlords are willing to be flexible in order to attract tenants.
Consider the physical space as compared to the physical needs of your business. Do you need a sign that’s visible from the street? Is there a direct competitor in the same building? Is there room for growth or will you be moving again in two-three years?
Before you sign anything, complete a walk-through of the property you plan to lease. Carefully note and photograph any existing damage to the property and make a list of any repairs you want the landlord to make. Documentation is crucial, so you are not charged for the damage upon vacating the space.
Before you take occupancy, make sure all repairs have been completed. If you need to move in before repairs can take place, make sure any work or upgrades that still need to be done are noted on the lease.
Other important items to consider carefully:
- Renewal options
- Rate increases
- Utilities, what’s included, what are you expected to pay
- Security deposit and conditions for its return
- Maintenance and repair of premises, who is responsible for what
- If and how the lease may be terminated
- Will there be modifications, updates, improvements as the property ages
Do your homework and look at multiple properties so you can to be certain you find the right location, space and landlord. Blue Ridge Realty, Inc. is one of East Tennessee’s most trusted and well-respected real estate companies and we would be happy to assist you with your search for the perfect commercial space.