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6 tips for commercial lease negotiation

Your company has not opened its doors yet, but the decisions you make could drastically impact its livelihood moving forward. The terms of your commercial lease could prove very critical to your success.

As such, here are six tips that can help you negotiate until you get the lease terms that you really want:

  1. Really get to know the area: Understand the zoning, potential weather risks, crime rates and other key factors. Arm yourself with the facts before beginning negotiations.
  2. Take your own measurements: You are paying for square footage. Double check to make sure you really know what you are paying for.
  3. Look at all of the past utility bills for expenses: Consider expenses that are covered in the lease and those that are not. It's your money. Do not just take the landlord's word for anything.
  4. Talk to people in surrounding spaces: These may be other commercial spaces or even residential apartments. People who know the landlord and the property can give you the inside scoop.
  5. Watch out for hidden expenses: For instance, maybe the lease says that you, not the landlord, have to pay to make any repairs. So, if the landlord has neglected the pipes for 20 years and one bursts, now you have to pay?
  6. Remember that you can walk away: Trust your gut. Never sign a lease you don't like. Threatening to walk away, or actually doing it, may help the landlord revise the terms.

Above all else, make sure you know your legal rights, all of the options you have and exactly how your rights and obligations will change when you sign on the dotted line.

Source: Inc., "10 Surefire Tactics to Negotiate The Commercial Lease of Your Dreams," Vanessa Merit Nornberg, accessed April 20, 2018

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