Philadelphia Commercial Lease Lawyer
Small businesses are sometimes hesitant to hire a lawyer for the principal purpose of reviewing a Commercial Lease. The problem with this line of thinking is that it is far more difficult to deal with an issue in a lease once you sign it, as opposed to noting the issue prior to the effectuation of the lease. Additionally, a business’s problems are compounded if there is a problem while they are already using the property. At that point, the lessor typically has an inherent advantage against the lessee, as the lessor is primarily concerned with collecting rent, while the lessee’s attention is focused on their business.
A business lawyer can review a commercial lease, make necessary changes, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you and your business does not end up in an undesirable situation.
Avoiding Landlord Mischief
Commercial Leases often contain provisions with the potential to cause the lessee serious financial difficulty. Ways in which the landlord may try to put one over on a potential tenant include:
- Common Area Maintenance Fees (CAM’s) – These are fees which are covered by the tenants of a commercial building. They cover common areas/services like the parking lots, security, lighting, etc. The problem with these fees is that they are typically dependent upon the number of tenants – meaning that if your co-tenants move out, you could be left footing the whole bill! This can drastically harm a business by creating an unexpected additional cost that many can ill afford.
- Personal Guarantees – These allow a landlord to go after personal assets in a suit. People who don’t retain a lawyer often sign these in voluminous leases without even realizing it.
- Inaccuracy – When using old forms or standard forms, a lessee may end up signing something that does not apply or is not as orally agreed and end up with a significant and costly problem afterwards.
- Inadequate Provisions – You need provisions in a contract which prevent a landlord from renting to your competition or renting to a business that can otherwise damage your own.
Lawyers Can Help
A lawyer can help a prospective Commercial Lessee by reviewing and editing potentially harmful lease provisions, checking for accuracy, and negotiating on your behalf. Even the mere presence of an attorney may be helpful, in that it lets the landlord know you are not to be taken advantage of.
The cost of hiring a lawyer is minimal when compared to the cost of being locked into a bad long-term commercial lease agreement.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.