Drafting Tips

Designating Tenants' Operating Hours

July 31, 2011    

If you own a shopping center or strip mall, some of your retail tenants will probably ask you to allow them to operate during hours that are the most convenient for their businesses, even though you've set operating hours for the entire center. And you may be tempted to give some tenants,...

Define “National Retailer” in Cotenancy Clause

April 25, 2011    

A smaller tenant that's negotiating a lease for space in your shopping center may want to negotiate a cotenancy clause that requires you to rent to a “national retailer.” You may be willing to include such a clause, especially if you're already negotiating a lease with a...

Protect Against Unruly Restaurant Queues and Crowds

April 13, 2011    

Problems can arise when a restaurant tenant draws so many customers that long lines—often referred to as “queues”—form, or crowds gather in the common areas near the restaurant. Someone could get hurt if a queue or crowd becomes disorderly or unruly, and, as the owner,...

Give Revocable License Only for Tenant's Patio Service

April 13, 2011    

Nowadays, many restaurant tenants ask to use common areas next to their space as a patio area, where they can place tables and chairs, and serve food. These patio areas are cropping up all over—even in shopping centers. But if you allow the restaurant tenant to use part of your common...

Include Eight Protections in Food Court Lease

April 13, 2011    

If you're like many owners of shopping centers or office building complexes, you're eager to find new ways to generate income. One solution may be to add a food court—that is, a special area dedicated to small restaurant tenants selling a diverse selection of carry-out or ready-to-...

Draft Favorable Attorneys' Fees Clause

May 31, 2010    

An attorneys' fees clause in a commercial real estate lease defines who will pay the legal fees for a dispute between the tenant and owner. It is critical to draft an attorneys' fees clause in your retail or office building lease that makes the tenant responsible for any legal fees...

Protect Yourself When Negotiating Access to Premises Clauses

April 27, 2010    

By Mark Morfopoulos, Esq.

Although an owner should rightfully consider its building to be its own, once it signs a lease with a tenant, that tenant has a right to exclusive possession of its space. To ensure that an owner has access to the space after it has given up these...

Make Copy, Electronic Signature Valid at Your Option

February 1, 2010    

Most commercial property leases don't contain a provision specifying whether a copy or an electronic signature on the document is as valid as an original signature. In the absence of such a clause, the presumption is that only the original signature of the owner or tenant is binding. But...

Limit Tenant's Right to Lease Audit

November 23, 2009    

When looking to cut costs, one of the first things that tenants try to trim are their operating costs. If a tenant believes that it has overpaid for its share of the building's operating expenses, a lease audit is inevitable for you. Your first step in preparing for audits should be at the...

Add Lease Amendment to Renegotiate Painlessly with Struggling Tenant

October 31, 2009    

The sluggish commercial real estate industry is affecting both owners trying to keep up with mortgage payments and tenants who are in serious financial trouble—or even in risk of default. In this recession, it is more important than ever to spot struggling tenants in your shopping center...

Take Four Steps Before Signing Cell Tower Lease

September 27, 2009    

Over the course of the past 15 years, wireless communication has changed from a novelty to a necessity for everyday life. The rapid growth has given rise to the need for wireless carriers to install and operate a greater number of cell tower sites in greater concentrations and over larger...

Leasing to Medical Offices: Some Doctoring Needed

April 30, 2009    

There are unique considerations in leasing space to a physician or medical group that don't come into play with standard office leasing. You should address those issues specifically in your lease to avoid unnecessary ambiguities.