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Reading the Lease: Start with the Basics


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


Hold the phone. 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 is 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 answer to your technical concerns, which could lead them to do the unthinkable— recommend you take the lease to an attorney. Won’t the attorney just rip the lease to shreds, charge you a nice fee, and maybe even nix the deal?


The reality is that you should do two things: First, read the lease completely. Second, have your attorney read it. If there are problems or issues, you need to know about them up front.


A lease is typically made up of over 35-40 separate sections, and each can impact you significantly if they are not negotiated in your favor.


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