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Office Space Lease Negotiating: Expect the Unexpected

There are many terms which office space tenants think of during the office space lease negotiation phase. From the rental price to parking inclusions to who pays for the common area maintenance, there is certainly a lot of terms to consider. One aspect which tenants do not always consider during negotiations is what the relationship of the parties will be should a natural disaster occur, such as a hurricane or tornado, and cause damage to the premises. Although these instances don’t arise all that frequently, should they occur, you want to be sure that you, the tenant, are adequately protected.

Why You Should Consider Natural Disaster Safeguards

As a general rule, the tenant in commercial office space leasing agreements will still be responsible for paying rent should the premises become unusable in whole or in part as a result of a natural disaster. This is often the general terms included within a commercial lease agreement. Therefore, it’s important to safeguard yourself against these types of occurrences so that you won’t have to pay rent, or perhaps only pay a certain amount of rent, should this type of disaster occur.

Although natural disaster scenarios are not too common, these can and do happen, which makes protecting your interests as a tenant a necessary step to take. After all, you don’t want to find yourself in a position where your office space is unable to be occupied by you and your employees for an extended, or any, period of time. This lack of occupancy will lead to lost income and could, in turn, damage your business earning status.

How You Can Protect Your Tenancy Interests

The best way to protect your tenancy interests should a serious storm cause damage or produce restricted operations of the office space, is to include a term within the lease which states that the tenant will be free from paying rent or only have to pay a certain amount during the time in which the office space is unable to be used. This is a negotiation phase issue, which must be put into the lease in order for it to be effective. You will often find that the landlord believes such a term to be reasonable but it will only apply if it is included in the lease at the time in which it is signed.

This may not be an issue which is often on a tenant’s mind at the time the lease is signed. However, it is one which the tenant must consider ahead of time and have a safeguard in place via a lease term just in case the unexpected natural disaster would occur.

A commercial lease is a lengthy one and has plenty of terms to peruse, consider and agree to prior to signing it. Don’t let the unexpected event turn your office tenancy into a troublesome one. Make sure that you include the pertinent terms, one such term being the rights of the tenant should a natural disaster occur to make using the office space difficult or impossible.