Will landlords fix up the space for new tenants of commercial leases?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

An award-winning small business attorney in New York City, Nina is a sought-after professional speaker and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She is the go-to counsel for knowledge economy and creative companies, delivering legal services and educational resources that save them time, money, and aggravation.

Posted on April 17, 2015 in Business Transactions

Q.:  We want to do open a Sushi bar in a new shopping center. What can we reasonably ask the landlord to do for us before we move in (i.e., gas piping, drain work, ceilings)?  What should we ask for in negotiating a commercial lease?

A.:  As my mother always says, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”  Whatever you’d like done, make sure to negotiate for in before signing your commercial lease.  If the pipes are damaged, the ceiling is leaking, and the drain is clogged, ask the landlord to fix it before you move in.  The worst the landlord can say is “no.”  Be aware, though, that any changes the landlord refuses to make means more costs for you before you get started.

Make sure that any changes the landlord does agree to make for you are documented in your commercial lease (or other agreement).  If the renovations are extensive, you may also want to request a rent abatement on your commercial lease until you can move into the premises.  A real estate attorney can help identify for you the items you can reasonably expect the landlord to agree to.


What other law questions do you have about commercial leases and office space?



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