Do you understand all the Terms and Conditions in your Property Lease?

Legal Counsel can help negotiate a Favourable Deal?

Commercial property lease agreements contain several terms and conditions along with additional information and clauses pertaining to other issues. Dedicated property lawyers can help analyse the entire contract and identify potential traps and hidden costs. Most of us may not be familiar with legal terminology and may be caught unawares at a later date. It is also more complex to take remedial measures once the lease agreement is signed by both parties. If you are faced with problems, you may be obliged to take the matter to court for resolution. This represents a long-drawn and tedious process which is likely to prove expensive and stressful.

Taking the issues to a courtroom may also impact the business and may result in monetary losses for the company. Hence, it’s a much better idea to be forewarned about potential pitfalls and hidden costs and conditions in the lease agreement. An experienced property lawyer can help you sift the document for traps and unfair terms. Then he or she can also negotiate favourable terms for your business.

In general, you may wish to look out for the following details in a property lease document:

  • Basic terms should be clearly spelt out. The names of both parties (make sure the company or business name is correctly typed), dates of the lease, rental costs and additional charges, usage of common areas etc. Other basic terms may include parking, security, common area lights, alarms, deposit amount, brokerage charges and so on.
  • Additional terms: The business may wish to put up signage on the roof or door, or they may want extra patio space or place flashing neon signs. Please ensure that all business requirements (as far as the premises are concerned) are fully addressed and negotiated before agreeing to the lease terms.
  • Insurance: This is a crucial component of all lease agreements. You must ensure the business is insured for any inadvertent damage to the premises etc. The indemnity clause is very important and your lawyer will help you understand it completely.
  • Termination terms, conditions and rights: If the landlord chooses to terminate the lease before expiry of the lease period, business investments in the premises should be protected.

The lease document should be clearly and comprehensively worded for the benefit of the landlord as well as the tenant. A property lawyer is trained to spot inconsistencies, unfair terms and hidden clauses (which are often tucked away in the ‘miscellaneous’ section). A comprehensive review of commercial property lease agreements is a technical and detailed process which requires time and expertise. The lawyer will check for several things including legitimacy of the lease, lease duration, costs and notice period and so on.

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