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Understand some basic commercial lease terms

Commercial leases contain clauses and terms that other leases don't have. If you are looking for a place to lease for your company, make sure you understand these common lease terms.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets the standards for accessibility for commercial establishments. Per the law, the burden of ensuring compliance with this act falls on the commercial tenant and the landlord. Make sure that you read over the lease thoroughly to ensure that you understand your responsibilities.

You need to be sure you understand the payment terms for the lease. These terms should include how much the payment is and when the payment is due. You might see a grace period listed on the lease, which is the amount of time after the due date that can lapse before the payment is considered past due.

Some commercial leases include a clause that prevents the landlord from being able to lease spaces to direct competitors of your company within a certain distance from your location. If you have reason to believe that competing companies might be heading to your area, this is a good clause to have in the agreement.

The maintenance clause and landlord improvement information are also important. The maintenance clause provides information about which party is responsible for keeping the property up. The landlord improvement information specifies what improvements to the property are going to be made at the landlord's expense prior to you moving into the property.

These are only the basics of these leases. Ideally, you will have the lease you are considering for a property reviewed by someone who has your company's interests in mind before you sign it.

Source: FindLaw, "Commercial Lease Provisions," accessed Sep. 14, 2017

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