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Business Lease Agreements: Call Us Before You Sign

The lease of your business premises is one of the most significant financial commitments you will make. You’re on the hook for a lot of money for 3, 5 or even 10 years. If your lease hasn’t been carefully drafted, there is a risk of misunderstanding all rights, responsibilities and obligations as well as the real financial commitment.

Commercial leases are complex documents and should be thoroughly reviewed by your lawyer before signing.

Many tenants simply look at the rental payment and terms and then sign the landlord’s standard lease without considering that it has been drafted in the landlord’s favour. The landlord typically does not include provisions for your protection.

You should understand that you have the right to negotiate any of the lease terms and add clauses for your protection. The landlord may or may not agree but there is a good chance, with proper negotiation, that you can gain some concessions.

Lease Misunderstandings

Some of the more common sections of business lease agreements that can cause misunderstanding are:

Additional Rent or Common Area Maintenance

Do you really understand all of the costs involved in the lease? Do you know how these costs will be calculated?

Indemnification

The landlord wants protection against possible events but are you covered? If not, your financial exposure may be much higher than you expected.

Renewal Options

What happens when the lease term is up? Have you negotiated any provisions for and terms of renewal? If not, you may have limited options at the end of the initial term.

Assignment Provisions

Can you assign the lease to another party should you decide to sell your business or relocate? If you have no right to assign the lease, your future plans may be in jeopardy.

Words cannot express how grateful and thankful our family is for the attention and many hours of detailed work that was completed over the past year by J. E. Fletcher Professional Corporation to handle the execution of probate of our parents estate.
 
We are very happy our parents selected John Fletcher to fulfill all the legal requirements to get closure on this part of the estate settlements. Our family is in total agreement that our parents would have been very glad to know their wishes were looked after exactly as they requested and with no difficulties for any of us. It made our lives much easier.
 
Again thank you — we want you to know we appreciated all the support we received from you, John. We would definitely recommend J. E. Fletcher Professional Corporation to others who may require legal assistance and/or representation.

- The Basil and Bettie Bell Family