Commercial Lease basic elements – there is no “standard” lease

commercial lease
Business Lawyer Asheville, Hendersonville and WNC

In 25 years working with businesses of all sorts, I’ve never seen a “form” or “standard” or “basic” commercial lease. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, especially the landlord trying to convince you to sign a lease without reading it or negotiating key terms. Every property, every owner, every tenant has individual needs from their commercial space, that should be set out in the lease agreement.

There are some basic elements that should be in a commercial lease, however, but even those elements are never standard. For example, where do the tenant’s responsibilities start and end – at the drywall? That would mean the landlord is responsible for maintaining the structures inside the walls and beyond. Another possibility is that the tenant gets a shell – four cinder block walls with maybe water and electric hookup. Then it’s the tenant’s responsibility to not only build out the space from scratch, but also to mainain the structure the tenant built.

I worked on a lease a few years back where the lease required to tenant to do routine maintenance, and repair, the HVAC system. The objection I raised, which ultimately killed the deal, is that it was a 40-plus year old building with the original HVAC, and no maintenance records were provided by the landlord for the HVAC unit. It reminded me of when I bought my first house and a week later the 20 year old boiler broke. I informed the client that it could potentially be replacing a $50,000 HVAC unit a week into this lease, under the terms of the lease.

Contact me if you have any questions on business transactions. In western North Carolina, Asheville, Waynesville, Hendersonville at (312) 671-6453.

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