Whether you are opening a business for the first time or adding a new location to your expanding chain, signing a new commercial lease is always a big deal. Even if you have extensive experience with contracts, though, you should still read the terms of a commercial lease carefully every single time.
Be it intentional or unintentional, a commercial landlord might leave certain terms ambiguous in the lease. Signing an ambiguous document can cost you dearly down the line, but you can protect yourself by double-checking certain clauses that lend themselves well to ambiguity.
An exclusivity clause serves to prevent your landlord from renting space within the same mall or in a nearby lot to another business that may be a competitor to your own. If your commercial lease lacks an exclusivity clause or contains one with flimsy wording, another store can easily cut into your profits.
You might decide to sublease your commercial property if you need to downsize or if there are certain times of the year when you do not need as much space. Subleasing requires the consent of your landlord though, so it is important to define clear terms for the process.
There are many situations in which a landlord is responsible for structural repairs and maintenance. However, unclear phrasing in your lease might result in the landlord putting you on the hook for any repair expenses that may arise.
As a business owner, you likely understand the importance of clarity when it comes to contracts. More often than not, ambiguity in your lease may benefit your landlord more than it might benefit you as a tenant.