Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Are you struggling to make sense of your commercial lease agreement? If so, the commercial lease lawyers at Merlino & Gonzalez can review the document, explain the fine print, negotiate better terms as necessary, and resolve any disputes that arise. 

Don’t let leasing issues slow down your business. Contact our skilled commercial lease lawyers today and take the first step toward a lease agreement that works in your favor.

Key Components of a Commercial Lease Agreement

The fine print in commercial lease agreements can be headache-inducing, but breaking it down into its key components makes it more manageable. Here’s a straightforward look at what typically goes into a commercial lease agreement:

  • Lease Term: This is the duration of the lease. It states when the lease starts and when it ends. 
  • Rent Amount and Payment Terms: This section establishes the cost of rent, when payments are due, and how to make payments. It might also include details about rent increases over time.
  • Security Deposit: Many leases require a security deposit. This part explains how much the deposit is, what it covers, and the conditions for getting the deposit back at the end of the lease.
  • Permitted Use of Property: This specifies what you can and cannot do with the leased space. For instance, a lease might allow a space to be used as a retail store but not for manufacturing.
  • Utilities and Services: This section explains which utilities and services the landlord provides and which the tenant is responsible for. It also explains the method for assessing the cost of utilities.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: This section divides the responsibility for maintaining and repairing the property between the tenant and the landlord, specifying who fixes what.
  • Alterations and Improvements: This part of the lease outlines what changes the tenant can make and whether they need the landlord’s permission.
  • Subleasing and Assignment: This part discusses whether and how tenants can rent out the space to someone else or transfer the lease to other parties.
  • Default and Termination Conditions: This section describes what happens if either party fails to uphold their part of the agreement, including how and when the lease can end early.
  • Renewal Options: Commercial landlords do not have to extend a tenant’s lease. Tenants should seek to include an option to renew the lease at its expiration and a mechanism for fixing rent increases to avoid having to renegotiate terms.
  • Dispute Resolution: If disagreements arise, this section outlines how the tenant and the landlord will handle them. This could include mediation, arbitration, or going to court.
  • Signatures: A lease isn’t valid until both parties officially agree to the terms by signing it.

Common Disputes Involving Commercial Lease Agreements

Disagreements over commercial lease agreements can arise from misunderstandings or different interpretations of the agreement agreement. Let’s look at some common disputes between tenants and landlords:

  • Rent Disputes: These disputes occur over the amount or timing of rent payments, such as when rent is due, how much is due, or how tenants should pay it.
  • Maintenance and Repair Issues: Tenants and landlords often disagree about who should fix what, when, and how, particularly when they have differing opinions about the underlying cause of certain damage.
  • Lease Term Conflicts: Disagreements can arise about the start or end dates of the lease or renewal terms if both parties have different understandings of how long the lease lasts.
  • Security Deposit Returns: Disputes often occur when tenants move out and want their security deposits back, especially if landlords deduct money for damage or other reasons.
  • Subleasing and Assignment Disagreements: These issues occur when tenants want to sublease a space or transfer a lease to someone else, but the landlord refuses to allow it.
  • Improvements and Alterations Issues: Disputes can arise if a tenant makes changes to a commercial space without the landlord’s permission or in ways not allowed by the lease.

How an Attorney Can Help with Commercial Lease Agreements

If you are considering signing a commercial lease or have issues with a lease you have already signed, a knowledgeable lawyer can help you by:

  • Reviewing and explaining the terms of your lease agreement
  • Negotiating for more favorable terms with the landlord
  • Advising you on compliance with state and local property laws
  • Drafting amendments to the lease agreement
  • Handling disputes related to rent payments
  • Resolving maintenance and repair responsibilities
  • Settling subletting and assignment arrangements
  • Representing you in legal disputes over your lease agreement

Contact a Commercial Lease Agreement Lawyer Now

Ready to take the next step in securing a commercial lease that meets your business needs? Contact Merlino & Gonzalez today for an initial consultation, and let’s work together to establish a lease agreement that protects your interests and fuels your business growth.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.