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levy and parthners

LEASE DRAFTING AND NEGOTATION

At Levy & Partners, we assist both landlords and tenants with a variety of residential and commercial leasing issues. Our lawyers can effectively address your concerns, whether you are a landlord in a lease dispute, a tenant entering into a new lease or a business owner renting commercial space. Even seemingly unimportant or unlikely contingencies in a lease can end up having a substantial effect on the parties rights in the future. For this reason, it is important to always have your lease reviewed by an experienced attorney before signing.

Reviewing and Drafting Leases

Our firm reviews and drafts leases for landlords and tenants alike. We create leases that are fair and clear and protect the best interests of our clients. If you are opening a new business, or if you are a current business owner interested in commercial real estate property, leasing may be a viable option. At Levy & Partners, we can help you realize your business goals by reviewing any lease and fully informing you of its terms. We have drafted and negotiated leases at major shopping and lifestyle centers, malls, and office buildings.

Breach of Lease

Our experience drafting and reviewing leases has given us an in-depth understanding of their terms. When a client requires representation because the other party has not complied with the terms of a lease, we can help. Leasing issues that are often the subject of real estate disputes include:

  • the amount of rent owed or when payments are due
  • the length of the lease
  • the condition of the premises
  • landlord and tenant improvements
  • build-out obligations
  • violations of use clauses
  • the enforceability of certain lease covenants
  • compliance with assignment and sublease provisions

In a real estate lease, landlords and tenants are not required to accept all terms of any lease presented to them. Assistance from an experienced leasing attorney can help ensure that your rights, business and livelihood are protected.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If I see a space I like for business, how do I get in touch with the landlord?

Oftentimes, the landlord has an in-house leasing agent or broker. Therefore, you will want to call the agent or broker to discuss the space’s availability. From there, the landlord will draft an “LOI,” or a letter of intent. The importance of this document cannot be overstated. An LOI is an extremely important step in the process as it both sets the tone between the landlord and tenant and sets forth the proverbial blueprints of the lease. The LOI is short and only contains the main points of the lease agreement, such as:

  • base rent,
  • the move-in date,
  • the length of lease, and
  • any special stipulations.

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What happens if there are other potential tenants interested in the same space?

Just like any other negotiable item, do not get too attached to a particular property. While a certain space can certainly enhance the success of your business, it is not worth over-paying. You have to go into negotiations knowing that if you don’t get a fair deal, you can move on and your business will thrive elsewhere. Additionally, becoming too attached to any one property will inevitably be picked up on by the landlord, thus decreasing your leverage even prior to the negotiation process.

How do I approach a landlord to begin lease negotiations?

Simply put, respond by marking up and returning a “redlined” version of the lease. A redlined lease is a version that has been edited with your preferred language according to your needs. This will likely include objections to certain clauses and sentences. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and to exclude what you do not. Also remember that even one word can completely change the meaning of the lease, so review it carefully.

Once you return the redlined version, the landlord will review your comments and respond in the same manner. After a few versions, the main issues of the lease will be whittled down to just a few points, which are best discussed in-person or over the telephone.

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