If you are opening a new business in Texas or expanding your current enterprise, finding a space to operate can be a top priority.
Initially, you will likely focus on finding space that is the right size with the right amenities in the right location. When you find the property you are looking for, you might want to move quickly and sign the lease. However, before you sign anything, you should know what you are agreeing to as a commercial lease tenant.
Commercial lease clauses to watch for
Even standard commercial leases can include clauses that might give you pause as a tenant, and landlords have the right to add or exclude a range of terms and conditions that work in their favor. Some clauses you should be especially mindful of include:
- Automatic rent increases
- Space usage restrictions
- Access restrictions
- Who is liable for making and paying for repairs
- Penalties for late rent
- Rules and regulations for closing down temporarily (called going dark)
- Specifications on what you can and cannot change on the property
- Renewal options
These and other terms can ultimately cost you more money than you think, and they could affect how you run your business in that specific space.
Preventing lease disputes
To avoid getting stuck in an unfair lease or winding up in an expensive legal battle with a tenant, business owners can examine commercial leases with an attorney before signing.
If you see any clauses that seem unfavorable or unclear, do not be afraid to negotiate and ask questions. While you might feel like doing so could mean losing the property, this possibility could be better than the alternative, which is locking your business into a contract that works against you.
If you already have a lease and your landlord is attempting to violate the terms or change the rules, you can again work with an attorney to enforce the lease. Doing so could allow tenants to get out of a lease or pursue financial damages, per Texas laws.
Finding the right place to run your business is exciting. However, you should be sure that the lease attached to it is right for you, as well.