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Commercial Lease Tenants

The most common dispute that I deal with concerns the return of the commercial lease deposit when a client chooses to move their business location.  Many times, small businesses choose to save the money and review commercial leases themselves.  However, the language regarding the deposit is often drafted so that the landlord has the ability to “create” repairs and other issues that will allow the Landlord to profit by retaining all or some of the deposit monies.

“Begin with the end in mind” – If you plan to refuse to pay the last month’s rent and would like the deposit to cover the rent … make sure you negotiate the proper language into the agreement prior to signing.  While it makes practical sense, Landlord’s are “old school” … they like to hang onto their deposits and they invest plenty of monies in legal fees to makes sure that the lease language will allow them to do so.

Have the lease reviewed by a lawyer.  Make sure that there is a clear process for a final walkthrough, identification and estimate of repairs, and an accounting of the deposit monies prior to or along with the final payment of rent, etc.  If the Landlord objects to this language, you should be prepared to fight over the final rent payment and return of the deposit at the end of your lease.