Business Law and Commercial Leases
By Michael Verna on September 28, 2019
While it’s become extremely competitive in the last several years, countless entrepreneurs have launched new business throughout the Bay Area hoping to realize a vision. There’s a lot of competition throughout San Francisco and Walnut Creek, CA, which includes competition for commercial and retail space. If you’ve run into issues with your commercial lease, business law attorneys Richard T. Bowles and Michael P. Verna are here to help.
Below, our law firm would like to consider some of the basics of commercial leases. We’ll then note how disputes may arise and why professional legal assistance is so crucial for seeking an ideal resolution.
What Are the Key Parts of a Commercial Lease?
The key elements in a commercial lease will cover the following:
- Rent - This covers how much rent is due, the due date, as well as the potential for future rent increases.
- Duration of the Lease - This covers the start and end date of the lease as well as instructions on lease renewal. There may also be language on what happens if a lease is terminated early.
- Security Deposit - This covers the amount of the security deposit, when it is returned, and the manner in which it will be returned.
Commercial leases should also contain dimensions of the space, a description of the commercial property, and information on any expected improvements or changes.
Consider If the Commercial Lease Fit Your Business
Given the basics in the lease, it’s important to consider if the property is a good fit for your business.
For example, a start up may not want to tie itself down to a five-year commercial lease on a property just in case the business doesn’t go as planned. If the physical space isn’t ideal for your type of business, you should not sign a lease. If your business requires changes to the space, you should ask for language in the lease that covers you for any renovations necessary. It’s important that you read through the lease carefully and ask questions whenever you need clarification.
Disputes Over Terms of the Commercial Lease
Some examples of commercial lease disputes might include:
- Duty of Repair - There may be disagreement of who is responsible for fixing damages. Certain repairs may be the responsibility of the business while others may be the responsibility of the property owner
- Payment Disputes - Late rent, penalties on late rent, and enforcement for past due rent could all be under dispute.
- Terms of Lease Renewal - If a business would like to renew their lease, the exact terms may be under dispute and require negotiation.
- Subleasing - A number of legal disputes arise over the possibility of subleasing the commercial property to another party and whether or not that is permitted given the language of the lease.
- Non-Compete Clauses - A business may attempt to restrict the rental of nearby space for any potential competitors, with disputes from property owners about what constitutes a competitor.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Clearing up commercial lease disputes does not always require a court fight, but it should involve advice and guidance from a business lawyer. Someone from our firm can go over the language of the lease and help negotiate terms with the property owners. If conversation and mediation prove ineffective, that matter can be taken to court. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that our law firm stands with you.
Contact Our Law Firm
If you would like more information about legal matters related to commercial leases and disputes, be sure to contact our team of business law attorneys. You can reach the Walnut Creek attorneys of Bowles & Verna LLP by phone at (925) 935-3300.