At LaFountain & Wollman, P.C., we bring a clear understanding of Massachusetts law and the contemporary business landscape to help clients negotiate commercial leases. We provide straightforward legal advice to ensure leases foster their goals and set a strong foundation for success. With our guidance, you can secure the best lease terms, positioning your business for stability and growth. Contact our experienced commercial lease attorney today. 

Basics of Commercial Leases

Commercial leases outline the terms under which the tenant can use the property for business purposes. Unlike residential leases, which are typically standard, commercial leases vary greatly and are highly customizable to suit the specific needs of both parties. These leases generally involve longer terms, ranging from five to ten years, and include detailed provisions regarding rent, maintenance responsibilities, and use of the property. Understanding these terms is crucial, as they can significantly impact operational costs and flexibility.

One key aspect of commercial leases is the rent structure: fixed, variable based on business revenue, or a combination of both. Also, these leases often contain clauses about property improvements, subleasing options, and termination rights, all of which can have long-term implications. It’s also important to consider the lease’s impact on future business changes or expansions. Given these variables, having the informed representation our firm provides is essential. 

Types of Commercial Leases

Commercial leases come in various types, each with its own set of terms and conditions tailored to different business needs. The most common types include:

  • Gross lease – The tenant pays a flat rent, and the landlord covers all property expenses, including taxes, insurance, and maintenance.
  • Net leases – These are further divided into single-net, double-net, and triple-net leases, in which the tenant is responsible for certain property expenses in addition to rent.
  • Modified gross leases – A middle ground between gross and net leases, the rent includes some property expenses, but the tenant and landlord share others.

Each type of lease has benefits and drawbacks. Gross leases, for example, offer simplicity and predictability for tenants, as they don’t have to worry about variable property expenses. However, this might result in higher rent costs. 

By contrast, net leases, particularly triple net, are often cheaper in terms of rent but place more financial responsibility on the tenant for the property’s upkeep and related expenses. Modified gross leases provide a balance, offering some predictability while sharing the burden of property costs, but they can lead to disputes over expense allocations. Trust our legal team to help you negotiate a lease that aligns with your financial and operational strategies.

Key Terms and Clauses in Commercial Leases

Commercial leases contain several key terms and clauses that are crucial to understand for both landlords and tenants. These elements define the parties’ rights and responsibilities and significantly impact how the leased property can be used and maintained. Key terms and clauses typically found in commercial leases include:

  • Rent amount and structure – specifies the rent amount and how it is calculated, including any escalations.
  • Lease duration and renewal option –  details the duration of the lease and terms for renewal.
  • Maintenance and repairs – outlines responsibilities for maintaining and repairing the property.
  • Use of premises – defines the permitted uses of the leased property.

The rent clause sets the base rent amount and often includes provisions for rent increases over time, tied to indexes or market rates. This can significantly affect a business’s budgeting and financial planning. The lease duration and renewal options are also critical, as they determine the stability and longevity of the business’s location, impacting long-term planning and investment in the site.

The maintenance and repair responsibilities are essential for both parties to understand, as they involve significant expenses. These clauses delineate who is responsible for general upkeep, major repairs, and compliance with laws and regulations. 

Similarly, the use of premises clause is vital for businesses to ensure their operations align with what the lease permits. It restricts the type of business activities allowed on the premises, which has implications for licensing and compliance with zoning laws. 

Trust LaFountain & Wollman to negotiate these key terms, protect your interests, and ensure a beneficial lease agreement. Our attorneys know the landscape, from office parks to retail hubs and industrial zones. By understanding your business and financial requirements, we will work closely with you to negotiate a commercial lease that best suits your needs and objectives. 

Contact Our Experienced Commercial Lease Attorney

Securing a prime location for your business is essential. With LaFountain & Wollman, you have an experienced team committed to your success. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Helping clients in Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and Essex County.