Commercial LeasesSeattle Real Estate Attorney
Commercial Lease Negotiation
The drafting and negotiation of commercial leases for landlords and tenants of office buildings and retail space is part of our practice. While residential leases are tied very heavily to the dictates of the Residential Landlord Tenant Act, commercial leases are much more similar to contracts than they are to residential leases. They are mostly a matter of negotiation and real estate market forces. The ability to negotiate concessions is driven largely by the availability of rentable space and the willingness of tenants to commit to longer leases. In order to be prepared for a commercial lease negotiation, one has to do their research into the competition. You have to know what your options truly are and know when pulling the plug on one space make sense because there is an equally attractive space available on better terms.
The psychological dynamics at play in the negotiation process must also be understood and used to your best advantage. Understanding the factors that impact the needs of both parties is critical to obtaining the best outcome from the negotiation.
The variables that arise during a lease negotiation include: responsibility for utilities, responsibility for maintenance, common area maintenance charges, tenant improvements, noncompetition with other tenants, and options to renew. Resolution of disputes in a swift and economical fashion is also important, so establishing an alternative dispute resolution mechanism that is fair and practical is part of the lease negotiations. Also to be determined is whether damage to the leased premises will make a landlord responsible for the tenant’s lost profits or consequential damages. This is often tied to requirements of insurance coverage by both parties.
How can Brandt Law Group Help?
A central role we play in drafting and/or negotiating a commercial lease is to remove as much ambiguity in the language used as is possible. If the parties to the lease do not know by reading the lease who is liable and/or responsible for various issues, then if these issues arise, the lack of clear language creates additional problems at a time that swift action is necessary.