Retail Commercial Leases for Beginners

December 16, 2022

Lease agreements are contracts between landlords (property owners) and tenants (businesses). They outline the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Learning about commercial leases right now will help you save money when buying a property later. Knowing how these leases work will help you find a location for your business and negotiate lease agreements that are fair for both parties.

Read on to learn more.

Contractual Agreement

The commercial rental agreement is a contract between a business owner and a property manager for the use of retail space. A typical commercial real-property leasing agreement includes terms for the length of the rental period, the landlord's responsibilities, tenants' rights and duties, any special provisions related to rentals (such as a waiver of late fees), and other essential details.

A commercial realtor may negotiate the terms of a rental agreement for either the landlord or the tenants.

What are commercial leases?

A commercial lease contract between the property owner and tenant to rent an office, retail, or commercial property for a specific period. Depending on the lease terms, the landlord may be responsible for paying utilities, taxes, insurance, and other costs associated with running the building.

Gross lease, Net lease, Percentage lease

  • A gross (or "gross") lessee pays the lessor a fixed monthly rental fee. The lessor is responsible for paying any utility bills and other operating costs associated with the property. This is a good choice for small businesses looking to minimize overhead costs by avoiding paying for utilities and other operating expenses.
  • Net Lease: A form of commercial real estate financing where the tenant (the business) agrees to cover some or all of the costs associated with owning the property.
  • A percent lease is a common form of commercial real estate leasing. It allows tenants to pay rent plus a particular portion of their sales. This is often a good option for small businesses that need more income to afford a traditional lease.

Regardless of your commercial leasing agreement, reviewing the contract carefully before signing it is essential.

There are several standard net leases

There are various commercial retail leases. They're usually differentiated by how much the tenants pay in terms of rent, utility bills, etc.

A typical commercial rental agreement is called a net (or gross) rental agreement, under which the landlord pays all or part of the property tax, insurance, and maintenance expenses in addition to the monthly rent.

Triple-Nets are even more restrictive than single-nets, requiring tenants to pay for all three expenses and utility bills. As a result, negotiations may involve determining which leasing arrangement works best for both parties. Ultimately, it depends on the kind of commercial property and business at issue.

Possible Disputes?

Sometimes a dispute happens. It is essential to resolve it amicably. If the parties cannot agree, it is best to have an attorney or mediator step in. Some contracts exclusively call for arbitration.

Negotiating a commercial lease time frame

Commercial leases usually take several weeks to several months to negotiate. This is because many factors must be considered, including the size of the space; its location; the terms of the contract; and the requirements of both the landlord and tenant.

CRE Broker's Job

Commercial real estate brokers can be helpful when negotiating leases for tenants. They can help tenants understand the current rental rates for their spaces and negotiate deals with landlords.

A broker can also help tenants better comprehend their leases and ensure that they're in the best interest of the tenants.

Real Estate Lawyer Importance

You need to get a commercial real estate attorney to review your commercial leasing contract before you sign it. They can explain the terms of the agreement, advise you on negotiating for a better price, and ensure that you're getting a fair price.

Make sure you know exactly what you agree to when you sign any contract. Consider consulting an attorney for legal advice. The length of the contract can also be negotiated, so talk to your lawyer about this too.

Do Your Research and Take Your Time

Once you've narrowed your list of potential properties, you'll want to start researching each one. You can learn something about a particular location's past, such as whether there have been any tenant complaints, if the buildings have ever been involved in legal action, and if they had any code violations.

You can search for commercial leases on online marketplaces. For example, if you are looking to rent retail space in Dallas, Texas, you can quickly scroll through properties to find the right one for your business needs.

Before leasing commercial property, there are several things to consider. These include the length of the lease, the terms of the lease, and the obligations of both parties.

A commercial real estate attorney and a CRE broker can guide you through the entire leasing process. They will assist you in finding the location for your business and protect your interest throughout the process.


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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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