West Virginia Real Estate Lawyers Advise on Commercial Lease Agreements

Established Charleston law firm represents landlords and lessees

Commercial real estate is a valuable asset for both the landlord and the tenant. But before either party enters into an agreement to lease a space, expectations must be clear and realistic. Neither side is going to be happy if the property is not a good fit for the business activity, and subsequent conflicts over poorly defined lease terms can undermine the value of the lease. At Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe in Charleston, West Virginia, our experienced commercial lease attorneys can assist you whether you are a landlord or a prospective tenant. We can review the proposed agreement, suggest areas that need clarification and help you negotiate appropriate terms. A commercial lease should be the foundation for a long-term, mutually beneficial business relationship. We can help you reach agreement on a lease that supports your business goals.

Experience negotiating leases for a wide variety of commercial spaces

Commercial leases, unlike residential leases, provide for the use of premises for specific business purposes. The terms of the lease address the multiple details associated with the type and scope of the business, including the tenant’s responsibilities for maintenance and repairs and the right to share in common services.

Our attorneys have negotiated leases for various kinds of commercial spaces, including:

  • Office spaces
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping malls
  • Industrial facilities
  • Warehouses

Our work encompasses a range of lease options, such as:

  • Gross leases — The tenant pays the owner a flat rental fee for exclusive use of the property.
  • Net leases — In addition to rent, the tenant pays some or all costs associated with the property, such as utilities, property taxes, maintenance and insurance.
  • Percentage leases — The tenant pays a base rent plus a percentage of revenue earned on the premises.

We understand the pros and cons of each lease scenario and can help you protect your interests in negotiations for optimal terms.

What are the essential elements of a commercial lease?

Our commercial law attorneys conduct thorough lease reviews to assess whether the terms are clear, enforceable and appropriate for our client’s business needs. The critical areas of the lease that we scrutinize include:

  • Parties — If the lease does not contain the full legal name of a business entity and a proper identifier of someone with authority to conduct business for the entity, the lease might not be enforceable.
  • Premises — The lease must identify the premises to be leased in correct and specific terms. The agreement must accurately describe all spaces, such as kitchens, storage rooms and parking, to which the lessee will have access.
  • Rent — Rent calculations can be complex. The lease must stipulate the method of calculation for any percentage of rent being charged.
  • Term — The lease must state its beginning and ending dates. Retail space leases often contain a bail-out option, which releases the tenant from the lease early if sales fail to hit agreed-upon metrics. Shopping mall leases generally contain a co-tenancy clause that allows a boutique to terminate the lease if the designated anchor business ceases operation.
  • Permitted use — This section of the lease specifies how the tenant may use the space. It covers the kind of business and the products or services offered. Many commercial spaces have their use restricted, especially if the industry impacts the environment. Thus, it is necessary to acquire permits and comply with all federal, state and local regulations.

As your advocates, we seek the most favorable terms possible so you can pursue your business goals.

Contact Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe for advice on commercial leases

Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown & Poe in Charleston advises commercial landlords and tenants on property leases throughout West Virginia. Call us at 304-344-0100 or contact us online to learn more.