Most prospective commercial office tenants endlessly pour over the financial implications of the proposed lease agreement. How much is the monthly rental? Who is responsible for utilities? What costs are associated with up-fitting the space to meet the tenant’s requirements? All too often, however, the soon-to-be tenant fails to consider some of the more innocuous paragraphs in the lease draft, particularly those that relate to the surrender of the premises. Restoration clauses – those little provisions that require the tenant to restore, at the landlord’s request, the premises back to the condition it was prior to the lease – can be as sharp as wolves’ fangs.
It is one thing to spend money to outfit an office arrangement. It is another to spend additional sums to tear it out.
Some tenants think, “Why the worry? Won’t the new tenant jump at the chance to take over the improved premises?” The answer: “Not necessarily.” Tastes in office space have radically changed in recent years. Formerly, office space was often outfitted with multiple perimeter private offices that were filled with expensive paneling and built-in shelving. The “open concept” that is the rage in residential housing has spilled over to the commercial world.
Now, many firms want broad, open space within which special cubicle arrangements can be installed. These arrangements are particularly attractive for businesses that allow workers to work remotely on some days. A dedicated office is now often an empty office. If the tenant that follows your firm desires an open concept and if your lease contains a restoration clause, you might very well need to get out your checkbook when you vacate the premises.
There are a number of ways that prospective tenants can try to protect themselves. For example, a prospective tenant can:
All too many businesses neglect to contact experienced legal counsel when they negotiate commercial lease space. Recognize that going it alone may be “penny wise and pound foolish.” Restoration clauses and other “innocuous” provisions can reach back to bite you later. Spending the time and the money to negotiate the best terms possible can work to your advantage. The attorneys at Romano & Sumner have more than 20 years of combined experience providing expert legal assistance to business clients. We represent clients in all types of commercial real estate transactions and we have extensive experience in litigation, if that becomes necessary. We pride ourselves not only upon our professionalism, but also upon our client service. We return phone calls within one business day. We keep clients informed. We complete the work within the allotted time frame. Call us at 281-242-0995 or complete our online contact form.
Romano & Sumner, PLLC