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Questions to ask before signing a commercial lease

As a California business owner, you probably have a checklist you keep that tracks your preferences or needs in a commercial rental property. While inquiring about square footage, signage and other elements of a prospective rental is important when discussing a possible lease with a landlord, so, too, is covering certain areas relating to the terms of the lease itself. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we are well-versed in the types of matters that often cause disputes between commercial tenants and landlords, and we have helped many commercial tenants comprehend complicated lease agreements and make sure they are getting fair deals.

Per SmallBusiness.Chron.com, commercial tenants typically have more responsibilities with regard to their rentals than residential tenants, which is why it is particularly important that you fully understand exactly what you are agreeing to when signing a lease. For example, while residential landlords are typically responsible for ensuring a rental remains habitable, commercial landlords may not have the same responsibility, unless the lease agreement specifically indicates otherwise.

You may also want to inquire about what, exactly, your tax obligations are going to be before you sign a commercial lease agreement, and whether they will cease once you vacate the commercial property. You may, for example, be on the hook for any number of different tax obligations, among them federal taxes, state taxes and franchise taxes, so it may serve you well to determine, upfront, exactly what your responsibilities are.

It may also benefit you as a business owner to find out whether your commercial lease agreement gives your landlord the right to terminate your lease or relocate you when he or she deems necessary. If you prefer your commercial landlord not have this freedom, you may be able to negotiate before signing the lease. You can find more about real estate law on our webpage.

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