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  • Writer's pictureTom Miller, CCIM

Three Invaluable Industrial & Commercial Lease Contract Tips

The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is complex. While they both need each other, they also both serve the needs of the other. The lease terms and market conditions dictate to a large degree if that relationship favors one, the other or neither, and that relationship also changes as market conditions change. Whether you are aware of  it or not, your relationship with your landlord – or better put, the value your lease brings to your landlord – is a moving target. Consider these three tips in your dealings with your landlord.

Generally, most locations have a property manager group responsible for collecting the rent, recapturing the NNN costs, paying bills and managing the property. In many instances, a property manager is the tenant’s go-to contact for everything involving their occupancy of the property. As familiarity develops, tenants rightfully tend to get very friendly with their property manager contacts. This is where some problems can begin. Familiarity breeds a certain brand of intimacy. Conversation can flow freely, including references into a tenant’s business plans. Common topics in casual conversation can include:

  1. How a business is doing

  2. Contracts lost or won

  3. Layoffs

  4. New hiring

  5. The addition of new products/services and the loss of others

Can you see the problem? All of this information is invaluable to the landlord – and be clear that it’s all going to come back to him. The more your landlord knows about you and your business, the better – for him. This does not serve you as tenant in the slightest. As the attorney says to his client entering court: “Don’t say anything.” The same rules should apply to your staff. Understand that the property manager is in the business of managing real estate for large, sophisticated ownership groups. What they know about your business helps them negotiate the best transaction for the owner – at your expense.

All of this brings us to tip number one: take advantage of your familiarity with the project manager to learn what you can about your landlord, but don’t overshare about your own business. If it’s possible to gently inquire which spaces are going vacant in the building or whether any “deals” are being offered to new or renewing tenants, by all means, do so. But stay silent on what’s going on with your company.

As was mentioned the tenant/landlord relationship is ever changing. The best time to renew your lease is not always the most obvious time or when you have done it in the past. Stay in touch periodically with your real estate professional. They should have the pulse of the market at their fingertips and be able to guide you with insightful market data as it relates to your lease and your business.

Tip number two is to stay in touch with your agent for important guidance and council about your lease that best serves your interests.

If you feel like your agent has nothing to offer you, understand that you are being under-served. Spend half an hour online reviewing websites for a professional in your area that not only specializes in your type of real estate, but offers useful information and a clear track record of success. Tip number three – don’t settle for an agent who isn’t doing his very best for you before, during and after a transaction. You deserve nothing but the best.

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Miller Industrial Properties, Sparks, Reno, Nevada
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