Important terms in a commercial lease agreement

Many business owners in the Portland area may for a number of reasons choose to lease space for their businesses instead of buying a commercial property outright. On many occasions, this is actually a smart business decision which fits in well with an owner's overall plan.

However, in order to keep a commercial lease from turning in to a major legal and financial headache, it is important that a would-be tenant, or landlord for that matter, consider several important terms that really should be addressed in every commercial lease.

As the details of these terms really depend on the individual case, an Oregonian with specific questions should speak with an attorney who has a detailed knowledge of commercial real estate law. Still, there are some principles a business owner can keep in mind with respect to the terms of commercial leases.

Perhaps the two most important terms of a commercial lease are those describing rent and the precise location, and nature, of the property being rented. While these may seem like fairly simple terms, rent in particular can be open to negotiation.

For instance, many commercial leases allow landlords to increase rent automatically, and others require a tenant to pay both rent and certain operating costs of the landlord, like property taxes or the cost of maintaining the premises. Moreover, the lease should also spell out how the landlord and tenant will resolve any disputes over the rent.

Other important terms in a commercial lease include terms describing what the tenant can and cannot do on the property, whether and to what extent the tenant can alter or improve the premises and how the business's customers and employees will be able to access the property.

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