Jun 18, 2012

How to Avoid Leasing the Wrong Building

By Don Catalano



Many businesses become victims of leasing the wrong building, causing a lot of problems financially as well as legally. Here are a few tactical commercial real estate tips to avoid leasing the wrong building.


Find out who is running the property.

One of the last things you want is a bad landlord.  Your landlord should be financially responsible, as well as willing and prepared to remedy any discrepencies that may arise as described in your lease.


Schedule a visit to the building.

And make sure that the property manager accompanies you during your tour. Fully inspect the unit you wish to lease and, if possible, any space that could be potentially used for future expansion. Make note of any and all favorable and unfavorable aspects of the building, and see to it that management is made aware of those conditions. It would be advisable to have management sign any list made in this regard. This will ensure that those damages will be fixed and repaired as agreed in your lease, by a specified date (ideally before moving in).


Comb through your lease agreement.

Before signing that contract, go through the terms and conditions of the agreement. Clarify any ambiguities. Make sure that all agreements are clearly stated in the lease.  Many commercial leases come equipped with yearly base rent escalations (often approx. 3-5%, compounded annually) on top of other OpEx charges. Develop an understanding of all that will be included in your occupancy cost, and how it may change moving forward


Communicate with your prospective co-tenents.

Speaking with other commercial residents of the property is a better way to get factual details about the building and any related problem. Ask them - how the manager responds to complaints, how the building is maintained. Enquire about the safety measures in place should anything goes wrong during an emergency.

More great CRE Leasing articles:

5 Advantages to Leasing Your Commercial Real Estate

Protecting Yourself from Signing the Wrong Office Lease

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Don Catalano

Don Catalano