The Landlord is Seriously Raising My Business Space Rent – What are My Options?

Commercial tenants can expect their rent to go up every year. In fact, it’s a bit unusual for the rate not to increase at the end of a lease. But sometimes, unscrupulous landlords will take advantage of their tenants’ naivete and exercise a somewhat obscure clause that allows them to up the rental rate substantially. So much, that it can increase by a relatively high percentage, thus making it virtually unaffordable. Fortunately, there are some options commercial tenants have in these situations.

Business Owners, Know Your Lease

Although it may seem completely obvious or self-evident, don’t just skim over any commercial lease. If necessary, pay an attorney to look it over and explain it to you on a very elementary basis. Or, go over it carefully yourself and if you don’t understand something, be sure to research it on your own – do not just take the landlord’s word for what it truly means.
There’s no standard agreement for commercial leases. In fact, negotiating the terms of commercial leases is usually expected. Depending on the state of the commercial real estate market, a business may be able to obtain significant concessions from a landlord. A property owner with a largely vacant business park, for example, will most likely make allowances. On the other hand, the business renting the space will have less control over the terms of a lease in a hot rental market or when renting a premium space. —FindLaw Small Business
We’re not going to get into commercial lease types, because there are many kinds. But, it is quite common for leases to contain various expenses besides just renting pure square feet, including common area maintenance and repairs, and other expenses. However, it certainly isn’t unheard of that tenants get stuck with even more expenses related to their business rentals. So, again, be sure to understand the lease before you sign on the dotted line in order to avoid any confusion or surprises in the future.

What To Do When Your Business Rent goes Up Unexpectedly

If the commercial space you’re leasing for your business goes up dramatically, you do have some options available, though they may not always be the best. Here are a few things you can do if the landlord raises the rental rate on your commercial space:
  • Do your research first. Start by getting a firm grasp on your state’s commercial rental laws. This won’t necessarily be a fun task, but a very necessary one. If you understand how these laws work, you may find something in your favor. At the very least, you’ll have more knowledge about how the landlord-tenant laws work in your state and will be wiser to make better decisions in the future.
  • Survey the local market. The next thing you should do is to start looking at other commercial spaces immediately. You just may find some deals out there that would allow you to either lower your current rental rate or be competitive. Because of the pandemic disruption, many commercial landlords are desperate for tenants, since so many businesses have adopted work-from-home and hybrid models.
  • Try to renegotiate your current lease. Another option is to try to renegotiate the lease on the property you are currently occupying. You can use your newfound knowledge of the law and of the local market opportunities to your advantage. This is especially helpful if you really want to avoid the hassles of moving your operation elsewhere, and the landlord is willing to be reasonable.
How else would you deal with a sudden commercial rent increase? Please take a few moments to share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your input! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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