You’ve found the perfect commercial property and are happy with the rent, but don’t ever sign anything until you’ve had a lawyer look at the document! It’s tempting to skip that step to fast-track the process, but a commercial real estate lease lawyer can save you a lot of stress, money and legal headaches. Here are some reasons why.
LEASES WILL ALWAYS FAVOR THE LANDLORD
Since the landlord prepared the contract, you can guarantee that it will favor him. He probably hired a lawyer too before he gave that to you. So you need someone to protect your interests and make sure that the provisions aren’t unfair. Just remember that Commercial Real Estate Lawyers will actually check every detail of the lease.
Most commercial leases are long, full of technical legal jargon, and impossible for a layman to really understand. Honestly, most people don’t read all the papers. A lawyer will go through each clause and double check details. He may bring up important issues that aren’t covered in the contract, such as rent protection or a cap on Common Area Maintenance Fees. Since a commercial real estate lease lawyer specializes in these types of contracts and has handled several cases, he knows the scenarios that you need to be protected from.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE LAWYERS WILL NEGOTIATE IMPORTANT AGREEMENTS
There was one woman who rented a commercial space for a nail salon. Months later, the landlord rented another unit in the same building to a spa that also offered nail services. This really hurt her business, and she was forced to cut down her prices just to stay in business. This problem would have been avoided if a lawyer had been able to negotiate a non-competitor clause in her lease agreement.
Another agreement your lawyer can negotiate for is reimbursement or compensation if the lease if the landlord abruptly cancels your contract or forces you to move to another unit.
JUST HAVING A LAWYER ALREADY SENDS A MESSAGE TO THE LANDLORD
There are some landlords that can be pushy or sneaky. Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile! But if they know that you have a lawyer who is looking at your contract, and is probably going to represent you if there is anything fishy going on, he will be less likely to try to pull a fast one on you. It’s a lot like hanging a “Warning: This Place Has CCTV Cameras” sign on your door. Knowing they’re being observed already discourages people from doing something suspicious.
YOU’RE NOT WASTING MONEY, YOU’RE PROTECTING YOUR MONEY
Some people think that lawyers are just unnecessary expenses. But if you look at how much money you’ll be spending on renting your commercial property, than you realize how foolish it would be not to have a lawyer protect your interests. Most commercial leases last for three years, and rent can be very high. Imagine the scenario of being stuck in an unfair contract, the cost of pre-terminating the contract and moving your business, or hiring a lawyer later on for a messy lawsuit. It is cheaper and smarter to just hire a commercial real estate lawyer now to avoid future expenses and protect your investment.