Typically a client will have a space that they are interested in leasing. They will have already seen the space and made sure it would be a good fit for their business. They then retain an attorney to help them negotiate the commercial lease with the landlord or the property management company.
Most of the time, the landlord, or the landlord’s agent, will have a standard lease agreement they want you to sign. Even though many tenants may sign the lease agreement without questions, most of the actual terms of the lease are usually open to negotiation. This includes everything from the rent, the length of the lease, any additional fees, and common area maintenance to the cost of breaking the lease and who is responsible for the lease if the business closes.
Before an attorney begins negotiating the specifics of the lease, they will become familiar with your business and your goals. Your business may have specific needs when it comes to the lease. You may also have certain budgetary restrictions that the attorney needs to keep in mind. Once the attorney understands what issues are most important to you and what issues are non-negotiable, they can begin to engage with the landlord about the lease.
Depending on the situation, a real estate attorney could either begin the negotiation by submitting changes to the form lease agreement that the landlord uses or the attorney could begin with a letter describing the broad outlines of the lease you would like to sign.
Like all negotiations, there will be some back and forth between your lawyer and the landlord. Your lawyer will keep you up to date on the progress of the negotiations and may need your input on come specific offers from the landlord.
Once a general agreement has been reached, your attorney will usually offer to draft the lease agreement. Often landlords will be happy to have someone else create the agreement.
You will then be able to sign a lease agreement that protects your interests and has been fully vetted by your attorney.