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The Pitfalls of Boilerplate Commercial Lease Agreements

Commercial Lease Agreements

When you’re a business owner, you try to cut your operating costs whenever possible. The less you have to spend on keeping the lights on and your customers happy, the more profit you get to take home at the end of the day. In some cases, however, saving a few dollars in the short-term can end up costing you big down the road. Cookie cutter commercial lease agreements are one financial misstep that can cost you and your business a lot of time, money, and frustration.

If you’re a business owner, a Miami landlord-tenant attorney can help you with all stages of your commercial lease agreement, from negotiation to transfer.

The Problem with Boilerplate Commercial Lease Agreements

At first glance, many legal contracts and documents tend to look the same. If you have read a few commercial lease agreements, you may have noticed a few words or phrases repeating over several different documents.

After a while, it may seem like all these documents are the same. Why not save yourself a few bucks and purchase a form online? It’s just as good as hiring a lawyer, right?

Wrong. When it comes to something as important as a commercial lease agreement, a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely a good solution. The pre-drafted forms sold online and in office supply stores are purposely created to be very general.

They may also fail to address specific issues and laws unique to your state. In this instance, you truly do get what you pay for, and it’s usually far from a bargain.

Also, many boilerplate lease agreements are geared toward residential lease contracts. If you’re entering into a commercial lease, it’s important to be aware of the key differences between residential and commercial lease agreements.

Longer Term Lengths

One of the main differences between residential and commercial lease agreements is the length of the term. Generally, residential lease agreements are comparatively short. They may last one year or even span month to month.

However, commercial leases tend to run for years, with some commercial lease agreements extending up to 20 years.

If you enter into a long-term commercial lease agreement without fully understanding your rights and obligations, breaking the lease could cause your business to take a serious financial hit.

Little Consumer Protection

Residential tenants enjoy broad legal protection under Florida and federal law. By contrast, commercial tenants have much narrower rights and fewer legal remedies. On the other hand, business owners usually wield considerable power when it comes to negotiating commercial lease terms.

If you’re a business owner in need of retail space, a warehouse, or an office building, you can almost always narrowly tailor your lease agreement to suit your business’s needs. You may even be able to negotiate extras, such as cleaning services and landscaping.

If you don’t know what to ask for, however, you’re unlikely to take full advantage of your options. This is where the assistance and advice of a commercial landlord-tenant lawyer can help you get the most for your hard-earned money.

The Landlord’s Breach Can Jeopardize Your Business

All the careful planning in the world can’t protect you against a landlord’s breach. Even if the court ultimately determines that the landlord is at fault for the breach, your business could suffer while you wait for your case to move through the legal system.

A landlord’s breach or bad behavior can imperil your business and put your entire livelihood on the line. Depending on the nature of the breach, a commercial tenant may have to scramble to find a new property, which can cause unexpected costs to pile up and eat away at the business’s bottom line.

Protect Your Business with an Attorney-drafted Commercial Lease Agreement

As a business owner, a commercial lease agreement is likely one of the most important documents you will ever sign. It is important to make sure its terms are accurate, fair, and clearly defined.

Whether you’re a sole proprietor or a large company with dozens of employees, your business’s commercial lease agreement should be specifically drafted to meet your needs and goals.

Experienced Representation for Florida Landlords and Tenants

Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, commercial lease agreements are entirely different from residential lease agreements. Protect your interests by working with a Miami landlord-tenant lawyer.