Mastering Retail Leasing: Tips from Lawyers

Mastering Retail Leasing: Tips from Lawyers

Retail leasing can be a complex and risky process, especially for small businesses and startups. As a business owner, it is essential to understand the legal aspects of retail leasing to negotiate the best terms for your business. This is where lawyers play a crucial role in helping you navigate through the terrain of retail leasing.

1. Understand the Lease Agreement: The most important aspect of mastering retail leasing is understanding the lease agreement thoroughly. According to attorney Andrew Heitner, founder and managing partner at Heitner Legal, “The lease agreement sets forth all the rights and obligations between the landlord and tenant.” Hence, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what you are signing up for before committing.

2. Hire an Experienced Lawyer: Retail leases can be intricate with many legal terms that may not be familiar to non-lawyers. Having an experienced lawyer by your side can help you decipher these terms and ensure that all aspects of the lease benefit your business.

3. Negotiate Favorable Terms: Leases are generally written in favor of landlords, but that doesn’t mean they are set in stone. A skilled lawyer can help negotiate favorable terms such as rent escalation clauses or provisions for early termination without penalties.

4.Pop-up Store Considerations: Pop-up stores have become increasingly popular among retailers looking for short-term leases or testing new markets without making lengthy commitments. However, according to attorney Matthew Javitch from Greenspoon Marder LLC,”Landlords may try to use pop-up store agreements as a way into longer-term relationships with tenants.” It is vital to have an attorney review any pop-up store agreement before signing it.

5.Pay Attention To CAM Charges: Common area maintenance (CAM) charges cover expenses related to shared spaces such as parking lots or restrooms in shopping centers or malls where your store is located. These charges can quickly add up, so it is essential to negotiate a cap on these expenses and have a clear understanding of what you are responsible for paying.

6. Consult An Attorney Before Renovations: If your retail space requires renovations before moving in, consult your attorney before signing any agreement. Attorneys can help review construction plans and ensure that all necessary permits and approvals are obtained before starting any work.

7. Be Mindful Of Personal Guarantees: When a business is new or does not have established credit history, landlords may require personal guarantees from business owners. This means that if the business fails to meet its lease obligations, the landlord can go after the owner’s personal assets. An attorney can help negotiate limiting or removing such guarantees from lease agreements.

In conclusion, mastering retail leasing involves understanding the intricacies of lease agreements and having experienced lawyers by your side. With their expertise, businesses can navigate through negotiations successfully while protecting their interests in the process. As attorney Heitner says,”Don’t underestimate how important it is to have an expert on your side when negotiating a commercial lease lawyer.