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Don't rush the signing of a commercial real estate lease

Maryland business owners know that among their many expenses, rent for commercial property is one of the largest. Finding adequate space in an appropriate location is often vital for the success of a business, and an entrepreneur may be tempted to sign a lease without much consideration when he or she finds the perfect spot. However, to avoid costly litigation, business advocates recommend a few simple precautions when agreeing to lease commercial real estate.

Rushing to sign a lease can result in the omission of important elements of the deal. An entrepreneur and property owner may discuss rental terms but fail to include all of those terms in the lease. This may include details about the business owner's cost for use of common areas as well as any provisions in the lease for the future expansion of the business. Without having these terms in writing, a business owner may find him or herself locked in conflict with the landlord.

A lease with conditional obligations is something of which both parties should be cautious. Conditions that exist outside the control of either party, such as the construction of a city parking garage or the revitalization of the area surrounding the property, may have a profound impact on the terms of the lease. Both parties should explore all contingencies for existing conditions and resolve ahead of time what course of action each can take if any of those contingencies should play out.

When a business owner is prepared to sign a lease, it may be helpful to have a legal eye review the terms to reduce the chances of conflict between the parties. However, if a dispute should arise, an attorney with skill and experience in business and real estate law could be an invaluable asset. Such an attorney can assist a Maryland business owner with protecting his or her interests.

Source:, "Five ways to avoid a commercial lease dispute", Andrew P. Shelby, April 18, 2018

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