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Have You Read The Whole Lease?


OK, so it looks intimidating and long, not to mention its full of all sorts of legal jargon that makes little to no sense. Anyway, why should you spend the time reading the lease? After all, both the landlord and your broker told you it was the landlord’s standard lease and that everyone signs it.


Can you say red flag?


We certainly hope your broker didn’t say that. Unfortunately, it happens too often. They don’t want to read the leases either. All they are usually concerned about are the business points (or at least their definition of the business points). Things like start date, lease rates, square footage, parking, and maybe tenant improvement allowances are important to them—not to mention the critical item called commission. If you do read the lease and ask questions, your broker may not know the answers to your technical concerns, which could lead them to do the unthinkable—sincerely recommend you take the lease to an attorney. Oh horror—not an attorney. All an attorney will do is rip the lease to shreds, charge you a nice fee, and maybe even nix the deal altogether (goodbye broker’s commission).


The reality is you should do two things. First, make sure to read the lease completely. Second, have your attorney read it. If there are problems or generally confusing areas, you need to know about them up front. A lease is typically made up of over 35-40 separate sections and each one can impact you significantly if not negotiated in your favor.


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