Commercial Lease Review
A lease is the foundation of the legal relationship between a landlord and a tenant. As there are limited regulations in place for commercial leases, the terms of the agreement itself are especially important for commercial landlords and businesses. A commercial lease should be reviewed and evaluated by an experienced attorney. Lynnette Ariathurai has extensive experience reviewing commercial leases—including advising clients on how to protect their interests and minimize their risks. To set up a fully confidential consultation with a California commercial lease review attorney, please do not hesitate to contact our Fremont law office today.
Key Terms to Consider in a Commercial Lease
In California, the terms that the parties (commercial landlord and business) agree to in a commercial lease will almost always hold up in court. Unlike with residential leases, there are limited regulations in place. For this reason, it is essential that you know that your commercial lease protects your rights and interests. You do not want to expose yourself or your company to a liability risk. Here are some of the key terms that should be considered in a commercial lease:
- Property Maintenance, Repairs, and Improvements: Responsibility for property maintenance, repairs, and improvements should be carefully evaluated. Many commercial leases include common area maintenance (CAM) provisions. Commercial tenants should know what costs are included— real property taxes, utilities, maintenance, management fees, etc. Additionally, commercial tenants should review their proposed lease to check for any potential financial liability for structural improvements.
- Property Damage/Destruction: Property damage can occur in a number of different ways. A commercial tenant should understand exactly who will bear the cost to fix property damage. Important items include partial destruction clauses, business interruption insurance, abatement of rent, and landlord repair obligations.
- Use of the Premises (Hazardous Materials): Before signing a commercial lease, a commercial tenant should ensure that their intended use of the premises is acceptable under the terms. In some cases, this could involve issues related to potentially hazardous materials. Make sure that the lease is consistent with local zoning.
- Assignment Rights and Renewal Options: A commercial tenant must understand their personal rights (or lack thereof) to get out of the lease early by assigning it to another party. For example, if you sell your business, can you assign your commercial lease to the buyer? Will you remain liable if assigned to a new Buyer and they default on the lease? Additionally, commercial tenants should carefully review their renewal rights/options.
- Waivers and Other Promises: A commercial landlord may offer some type of waiver or make other promises. In California, any representation by the landlord should always be in writing. If a commercial landlord excuses a commercial tenant from rental obligations or makes other promises, it needs to be in writing. Otherwise, it may be difficult (or impossible) to enforce.
Best Practice: Have a Commercial Lease Reviewed By an Attorney
There is a lot at stake when you sign a commercial lease. It is best practice to have your lease reviewed and evaluated by an experienced business lawyer. Our founding attorney Lynnette Ariathurai will comprehensively review your commercial lease, answer your questions, advise you on the potential liability risks, and draft proposed amendments to protect your rights and interests.
Contact Our Commercial Lease Review Lawyer in the Bay Area
Lynnette Ariathurai has the skills and experience to review commercial leases. Contact us now for a confidential consultation. With an office in Fremont, we provide commercial lease review services throughout the entire Bay Area, including in San Jose, Santa Clara, Gilroy, Hayward, and East Bay.