Leasing commercial space is critical for any business owner in Wisconsin. Without the proper space, you could wind up getting shut down or being extremely limited in what you can and cannot do.
However, before you sign a lease for commercial space, you will want to be cautious, as not all leases are created equal. There are numerous clauses, restrictions and definitions that a landlord might include in a lease that could be cause for concern. Below are five of such clauses you could encounter.
- Rent specifications: Pay close attention to any automatic rent increases, stipulations about how you must pay your rent and what options you have for disputing rent issues after you sign the lease.
- Usage restrictions: Your lease could prohibit use of the space for certain reasons or restrict elements like signage and advertisement on site. These limitations could be a major hit to your operation.
- Parking and security arrangements: Beware of lease terms that could leave your customers, partners and employees without safe access to the building and/or without reasonable parking accommodations.
- Utility and maintenance clauses: Be clear on your responsibilities as a tenant. Will you be expected to fix maintenance problems? Who is going to cover the cost of repairs? Are utilities included in rent or covered by the landlord?
- Unexplained fees: Vague or confusing terminology when it comes to fees can be a way for a landlord to pass his or her financial obligations onto the tenants.
These are just some of the clauses that commercial property owners may include in leases that may not necessarily be of any benefit to a tenant. This is why it is so important that you consult an attorney before signing any commercial lease agreement. With legal guidance, you can negotiate unfair terms and identify any red flags that could ultimately be a threat to your business.