After identifying your business premises, you may want to sign the lease and secure the property immediately. However, it may not be the best way to go about things. Even if the landlord asks you to sign a standard agreement, it is in your best interests to refrain from signing any legally binding contract before carefully reviewing it.
Ensuring that your lease agreement does not contravene local property laws is a good place to start. Then you need to understand all the terms and conditions in the agreement, especially those masked in legal jargon. Below are some terms to look out for, and if they are part of your lease agreement, you should consider not signing.
1. Making your security deposit non-refundable
Most landlords ask for a one to three-month deposit, but it is usually refundable upon the end of the contract. Watch out for clauses that imply you may not get it back.
2. Granting the landlord unlimited access
As the tenant, you have a right to privacy and quiet enjoyment of the property leased. Don’t sign a lease that gives the landlord unrestricted access to the property whenever they wish.
3. Requiring the tenant to be responsible for all maintenance
You should not sign a lease that puts all maintenance responsibility on yourself. The landlord should cover maintenance costs that make the property habitable such as a leaking roof or plumbing issues. Agreeing to bear all expenses related to maintenance could be a costly decision for you or your business if anything goes wrong.
Protecting yourself means being conversant with real estate law pertaining to lease agreements. Doing so will ensure that the lease you sign is not a burden for you in the future.