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Getting ready to sign a lease? Don't skip these steps

Finding the right space for your commercial enterprise is important -- and you may be anxious to jump on the lease as soon as possible.

Hold on just a bit. There are a few things about the fine print that you really need to take some time to review.

Common area maintenance terms

More than likely, these are abbreviated as "CAM" in the lease. Make sure that you aren't paying more than your fair share. It should be a percentage based on what portion of the building you rent and not a variable amount based on how much of the building is being rented at a given time.

Parking terms

You need to be clear about what parking is included in the lease. In many areas, parking can be at a premium. You don't want to lose out to a competitor because you aren't allocated a sufficient amount of parking.

Capital expenditures

Occasionally, buildings need major repairs. Landlords often seek to shift the responsibility for things like roof repairs, heating unit replacements and more onto their tenants. Try to negotiate for a maintenance contract instead of an obligation for the full amount.

Assignments and subleases

Sometimes it becomes necessary to move your location or sell your business unexpectedly -- before your lease is out. To protect yourself from overwhelming debt, you may want to try to negotiate for the right to have someone else take on the lease if you sell the business or rent out the space to someone else for the remainder of your lease if you need to close or move.

These are just a few of the things that commercial tenants need to be careful to examine before they rush into a lease. No property is worth getting yourself into a bind down the road because you rushed into things. If you need help reviewing a lease -- or are already in a bind -- our office may be able to assist you.

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