Leasing Strategies

For new businesses or locations, we strongly recommend that you start the site selection process at least six months in advance. Two months for site selection and negotiations, one month to finalize the formal lease agreement, two months for the store build-out, and one month as a cushion to deal with the unexpected.

For lease renewals, we recommend that you start at least 12 months in advance. If you can’t negotiate a good deal on a renewal in the first few months, you can still exercise your option to renew or start the relocation process.

In all cases, the landlords have the advantage; they have the preprinted leases, the buildings, and the best lawyers. You need to be informed and prepared in order to negotiate the best lease for your purposes.

The following five strategies have been listed to assist you with the basic process of negotiating a lease:

1. Be prepared to negotiate. The landlord’s printed lease will most likely favor the landlord.
2. Match the lease to your business’s needs. If location is important, you’ll want a longer lease - or a shorter one with options to renew.
3. Understand who pays what - such as utilities, repairs, insurance, and even taxes. You may want to pay slightly higher rent for eliminating these items.
4. Be aware that your negotiating power is stronger in a market where lots of commercial space is available.
5. Remember that a lease is a legal document and you should completely understand it before signing it.

For new businesses or locations, there are 13 lease clauses that can get you in trouble. Do you know them? And believe us, your lawyer will most likely not take the time to tell you about them.

For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at for more information. 

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