Establishing a law firm means finding the right office space for your practice. Before you sign a lease, there are certain things that you should be looking for in the agreement to make sure you know what to expect.
1. Who is responsible for maintenance?
Having sole responsibility for the maintenance of a property can be overwhelming for a legal business owner. Your office lease agreement should cover what you will be expected to do and what will be handled by the property owner.
2. What happens if the property owner sells the lease?
Commercial properties frequently change ownership, and this can happen even while you are leasing a property and whether you agree or not. However, it is something that can commonly be included in the lease. Look and see if there are details regarding what will happen if the property owner sells the lease.
3. Are there restrictions about how the property can be used?
Even though property use restrictions tend to be associated with things other than legal business, there can be stipulations listed in a contract about how a property can be used once you have signed the lease. For example, you may not be able to interview clients at the location if the lease explains that the property can be used solely for business operations and not clientele meetings.
4. How much parking is available specifically for you and your clients?
If the office space you are considering leasing is located in a series of other offices, you will need to know how much parking is available for you and your clients. This information should be provided openly in the lease, but if it is not, make sure you ask what is available and that the information can be included in the lease. You do not want to lease a place and find out that you have to share a minimal number of parking spaces with the rest of the offices in a building.
5. What will happen when the lease expires?
Most commercial property owners will give you a generous lease term as a professional lessee. However, it is still a good idea to look at your lease agreement to find out what will happen when the lease expires. There could be terms about only being able to renew the lease so many times or regarding how much the lease cost will change with every new renewal.
For more information about office space leasing, contact a real estate agent.