Nassau & Suffolk County Lease Negotiation Attorneys
The best way to avoid conflict in lease situations and stay out of the courtroom is to ensure that you are operating under a clear, legally sound lease agreement. Whether you are a landlord or tenant in a commercial or residential setting, you want a clear understanding of what your rights and liabilities are in any given situation regarding your lease.
What Goes Into Negotiating a Lease?
The first step in any lease negotiation is obtaining a thorough understanding of the property, the intended use and the desires and limits of each party. From there, open communication as to what each side will tolerate from a risk standpoint is essential to maintaining a good relationship between the parties. Having an experienced lease negotiation attorney guiding the process can mean the difference between a healthy long-term relationship or expensive litigation.
The skilled real estate attorneys at Roman & Piccinnini have extensive experience representing landlords and tenants in lease negotiations throughout New York. Because we work on both the landlord and the tenant side of things, we know what to look for and where problems frequently crop up. Whether you’re concerned about the terms of a residential lease or a commercial lease, Roman & Piccinnini has the expertise to assist you in protecting your rights.
Residential leases are generally less complex than commercial leases. This does not mean that they are any less important. Nor does it mean you should not have a residential lease agreement reviewed by a competent residential lease attorney. Too often, we see cookie-cutter leases that someone pulled from the internet used by well-intentioned people who assume that if it was drafted or reviewed by someone else’s attorney, that it will suit them. Later, they find out that the lease doesn’t say what they thought it did and now they are on the hook for any number of issues that could go wrong with the residence.
Every living situation is unique, which is why any lease agreement should be reviewed closely by an attorney with a solid background in lease negotiations. This way, you can rest easy knowing exactly what your lease says about the lease term, pets, deposits, refunds, who is responsible for utilities, maintenance and pest control.
A solid residential lease agreement will explicitly set forth the details regarding:
- the term of the lease
- the amount of rent and deposits (including pet deposits and rent increases for pets)
- who will pay utilities
- who is responsible for maintenance
- whether the tenant can sublet the premises
- what happens at the end of the lease term
Commercial leases can encompass a broad range of properties, from leisure properties like restaurants, cafes and hotels to retail facilities, office properties and industrial properties. Each of these types of properties require very particular lease terms. Even more so than residential leases – this is not the time for an off-the-shelf lease agreement. Due to the many different types of commercial properties, there are likewise, multiple different types of commercial leases. This include:
- Fixed Lease Agreements — these define a particular quantity of rent for a fixed period of time
- Step Lease Agreements — these involve routine rent increases as part of the terms of the agreement
- Gross Lease Agreements — these are a more complicated type of agreement that distributes responsibility for certain things normally associated with ownership, such as utilities, repairs, insurance, and (sometimes) taxes, and the tenant pays a fixed monthly amount
If you are a commercial landlord, our attorneys can assist you in drafting a customized lease that address every foreseeable contingency based on your desires and the requests of your potential tenants. If you are a tenant that has been presented with a commercial lease and you’re not sure you understand all of the terms, we can specify what your responsibilities are under the agreement and point out things that might come back to haunt you down the line.
Commercial leases typically address a whole host of terms that address:
- Rental amounts (whether fixed or stepped)
- Allowances for modifications to the space
- Lease term, termination and extension
- Onsite publicity options/signage
- Whether to allow competing businesses in adjacent premises
- Security deposit requirements
- Whether the tenant may sublet the premises
- Rent-to-buy options
- Allocation of responsible for utilities, waste removal, cleaning, etc.
Special care should be given for commercial properties that will cater to potentially dangerous operations or heavily-regulated industries. As a landlord, you may be unfamiliar with local, state and federal regulations regarding life-safety requirements and other issues that may drive the risk up if not properly addressed in your lease documents. As a tenant, you may be taken aback by requirements for wall-thickness or other specifications that you may feel are intrusive. Either way, having an attorney review and help negotiate these types of leases can assist both parties in better understanding of what their rights and responsibilities are and how they wish to work together in the future.
The key to any ongoing, successful lease arrangement is an agreement that is unambiguous and that clearly states what is required of both parties so that there are no misunderstandings during the term of your relationship. Our highest priority is ensuring our clients interests and assets are protected.
How Roman & Piccinnini Can Help
Our practice is structured to aid you with any type of real estate transaction. We take pride in tailoring our approaches to your specific needs. These needs may include things like:
- Letters of intent
- Lease review and drafting
- Pop-Up Leases
- Lease Surrender Agreements
- Lease Assignments
- Indemnification agreements
- Rent reduction – re-negotiation with landlord
- Right of first refusal, Options
- Negotiate Buy-Outs of Leases
- Subleases, Licensing Agreements
- Construction (“build-out”) riders
- “Good Guy” Guarantee
- Subordination Non-Disturbance Agreements
Whether your situation calls for negotiation or litigation, we are dedicated to being proactive in the fight to protect your rights. Our attorneys are renowned not only for their strength, but for their successful, innovative strategies. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.