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When you’re looking for that ideal commercial space to lease and are negotiating the contract, you obviously need to understand what features, clauses and terms are must-haves. It’s equally important to know when you should consider walking away from the negotiating table. The following are some deal breakers that should give you pause about signing any lease.

Unreasonably Long Terms

Having tenants committed for years at a time benefits landlords as it means they don’t have to go through the time and money of filling vacant spaces. As a tenant, long terms may not be right for your business. Your space needs could remain unchanged over the years but it’s more likely that what’s best for your company today won’t be the same years from today.

Unusually High or Unclear Fees

Fees are a common part of real estate contracts so it’s crucial to examine them closely. Do research to find out what the going rate for particular fees are in the market where you’re looking so you know you’re not being overcharged. Also, make sure the landlord clearly explains what the fees are for, when they’re assessed, how much they are and when they are due. If you can’t get clear language added to the contract, move on.

Forfeiture of Legal Rights

Never sign a contract with language that says you waive your legal rights to take any type of action against your landlord. Unfortunately, you can encounter everything from unscrupulous landlords to unforeseeable circumstances after you move in. If a disaster happens or your landlord turns out to be dishonest, you need to be able to take some type of action.  

Objection to Put Things in Writing

Promises your landlord makes to you should be in writing in the contract. Verbal agreements are not enforceable in a court of law. If a landlord assures you that you can trust him or her but is reluctant to include specific language that you’ve agreed upon, be ready to restart your search. In today’s modern world, amending any language of a contract takes minimal time.

Objectionable Renewal Terms

Never sign a real estate contract that does not give you the right to renew your property at the end of the lease or one that requires you to. You should be able to decide whether or not you need to stay in your building but not be obligated to stay there if it no longer works for you.

Consider engaging howardcommercial

This is the most important tip by far: Don’t do this yourself. Even if your company is somewhat familiar with the market and rental negotiations, you will best be served by engaging an experienced commercial real estate advisory firm whose job it is to represent your best interests and help negotiate the best deal the market will bear.

Give us a call at 314.821.0085 or send us an introductory email at

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