Businesses across the world lease commercial premises to operate in every single day. Unfortunately, many of these lessees don’t understand the legal requirements that come with leasing a property. Before entering into a commercial property lease agreement, you should consult a property lawyer to make sure that you fully understand your obligations and the requirements of your new business lease.
With that in mind, what are some of the most common legal requirements when leasing a commercial property?
You must complete the relevant paperwork:
Both the landlord and the lessee must complete a range of paperwork when entering into a commercial lease to make sure that the lease is valid (and that it remains valid). Obviously, a written lease has to be drafted in accordance with the lease terms that both parties have agreed on, and it is important that you read a lease carefully before signing it. If you are unsure about your legal requirements in terms of paperwork before and during a lease, consult a property lawyer.
Obviously, you can’t conduct illegal activities:
This should go without saying, but you can’t conduct illegal activities on a leased property. Not only will this get you into trouble with the courts, but it will also be a reasonable cause for your eviction. If you get evicted due to illegal activities, you will have no legal protection whatsoever.
You have to stick to the terms of the lease:
Most leases will come with a set of terms that you have to abide by. For example, commercial property leases might outline the repairs and maintenance that you have to perform on the property, and how often this maintenance needs to be done. Although it is often the responsibility of the landlord to maintain a property, it becomes the lessee’s responsibility as soon as it is mentioned in the lease.
You can’t use the property in a manner other than that agreed:
Commercial leases are usually different from residential leases in the way they are written. Most commercial leases will specify exactly what the property will be used for, how long it will be used for, and who will be using it. This means that you can’t do things like subletting the property or housing paying tenants (unless your lease agreement allows you to do this). You also can’t run a business other than the one that was agreed upon on the premises. If you would like to do this, talk to your property lawyer about getting the terms of the lease changed.
The bottom line:
Really, you are legally required to abide by the terms set out in your lease agreement. As long as you do the relevant paperwork when beginning a lease, stick to the terms outlined in the lease, and refrain from performing illegal activities on a leased premise, you should be safe. If you are still unsure about your legal requirements, consult a property lawyer.