This Toolkit was reviewed in April 2014 by our editorial team as part of ongoing maintenance. This Toolkit is also continually monitored for any necessary changes due to legal or practice developments.
Office Leasing Toolkit
Resources to assist companies in understanding and effectively negotiating their office lease and many additional agreements related to the lease.
All companies need office space to house their employees and run their business. At the onset, companies invest a lot of time and money in finding the right space and finalizing the lease agreement. Most office leases are long term commitments, often five years or more, with ongoing obligations and risks. Companies should negotiate and enter into their office leases with an understanding of how to:
Identify short and long term business goals. The clearer the business goals, the more likely the finalized lease agreement will be an effective and useful tool for the company and its business vision. For example, if the company believes it will encounter growth in the near future, the company should ensure that additional space options are negotiated during the letter of intent (www.practicallaw.com/0-382-3575) and lease negotiations.
Effectively negotiate the business terms and lease provisions. The company should understand what specific issues and lease provisions affect the company's ongoing obligations under the lease. For example, a tenant's obligation to pay to the landlord its proportionate share (www.practicallaw.com/2-503-3631) of the building's operating costs under the lease, can be negotiated by the tenant to allow for a more fair and balanced clause that effectively saves money for the tenant each lease year.
Obtain appropriate protection. The company should consider the time and money it invests in the space and whether it should negotiate certain protections to ensure the lease is not prematurely terminated by intervening interests. For example, in many instances a landlord's lender has priority over a tenant's lease and may be able to terminate the tenant's lease if there is a foreclosure action. A tenant may want to obtain a subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreement (www.practicallaw.com/3-502-9775) (SNDA) from the landlord's lender, to ensure that the landlord's default under its loan, and the subsequent foreclosure by the lender, would not permit the lender to prematurely terminate the company's lease.
The continuing costs of an office lease can affect a company's bottom line. A company planning to lease office space should use general practice tips and negotiating techniques to better assess and allocate the costs and other risks associated with an office lease.
This Office Leasing Toolkit provides resources designed to:
Assist companies in negotiating and managing their office leases.
Achieve cost-savings over the lease term.
Provide for a certain amount of flexibility that suits the company's particular business needs.
Protect the tenant from unwarranted risks and intervening third party interests.
Additionally, leases are generally governed by the laws of the state where the leased premises are located. The following resources are designed to provide guidance to companies with multi-state leases:
Standard Documents and Clauses
- Tenant Estoppel Certificate (www.practicallaw.com/5-503-1923)