Running a business means that you have to handle a lot of issues, often simultaneously. One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner or manager is the location of your company. The right location can make it easier for customers and clients to access you.
However, the most desirable areas in New York typically have incredibly high rental costs. In order to secure the rights to rent the right place for your business, you will need to spend time considering different properties and then reviewing the terms of the lease offered by the landlords for those spaces.
Even if you have rented an apartment in New York before, commercial leases are substantially different than residential leases. Working with a commercial real estate attorney can help you with everything from negotiations to verifying that the lease won't endanger your business or your finances if the business fails.
An attorney can help you negotiate better terms
Most commercial landlords have boilerplate leases that they use for every tenant. They usually set specific terms, like the length of the lease and the amount of fees the tenant must pay, and apply them to all tenants. However, in some cases, commercial landlords are willing and able to change some of those terms for potential tenants.
From the length of the lease to the percentage of CAM fees, also known as common area maintenance fees, negotiations may help you secure a lease more favorable for your business. Renegotiating the length of a lease is often a concern for new businesses and startups.
Signing a lease for three or five years could leave your business responsible for that entire amount of rent if the company fails and you no longer want to rent the space. Negotiating a change to the standard terms of the lease can be difficult and stressful, especially if you aren't familiar with commercial rental laws. Having an attorney handle those negotiations can improve your chances of success.
Your lawyer can help you avoid slumlords and unfair contracts
Even if you don't intend to negotiate terms for your lease, you still want to have a lawyer familiar with commercial leases examine the document before you sign it. Sometimes, those clauses can include obligations or liabilities that can pass business rent defaults on to you as an individual.
Other times, a landlord may rent a unit they know has serious defects, such as aging windows or non-working air conditioning, in part because the lease requires that the tenant make any and all repairs to critical systems. An attorney can warn you about red flags in the lease so that you don't wind up injuring your financial future or the success of your company.