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What are you doing to prevent a commercial lease dispute?

It doesn't matter if you are renting space to conduct business or renting out space as a property owner, it's important to have all the details in place up front to avoid trouble in the future.

When signing a commercial lease, regardless of what side you're on, you're glad to finally have a deal in place. Unfortunately, this can lead to a situation in which you don't focus enough time and attention on the finer details.

The best way to prevent a dispute is for both parties to sign a detailed commercial lease. This should include the following:

  • The name of the tenant and property owner
  • The address of the building
  • The terms of occupancy
  • The length of the lease
  • The monthly payment
  • The amount of the security deposit (and the terms that govern it)
  • Who is in charge of paying for utilities
  • All expenses the tenant must pay
  • An outline of any parking that is available
  • Rules on subletting the property
  • The type of business to take place at the property
  • The party responsible for paying legal fees should a dispute arise

Now that you better understand what to include in a commercial lease, there are a few important questions to answer:

  • Are there any provisions in the commercial lease that are prohibited by law? This can be something as simple as excluding tenants due to their sex, color or race.
  • Is a commercial lease the same as a rental agreement? They appear similar on the surface, but there are some differences. For example, a rental agreement is used for short-term tenancy, while a lease is typically for a longer term arrangement.
  • Do you understand why the property owner can evict the tenant? You hope it never comes to this, but you must have a clear idea of why an eviction could happen. This is good to know no matter what side of the deal you're on.

If you're not doing anything to prevent a commercial lease dispute, you're increasing the likelihood that this will happen in the future.

If you find yourself dealing with a dispute, review your lease in great detail for a better idea of what to do next. You need to understand your legal rights and how to protect them, all so you can put this issue in the past soon enough.

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