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Often, a Landlord for a commercial office space will give a prospective tenant a very one-sided lease agreement to review. Any such prospective tenant should consult an attorney and submit along with the landlord's lease an addendum, which works to even the terms of the lease balancing the wants and needs of the tenant against the wants and needs of the Landlord. Please note that every lease agreement is different and the following addenda comprise only a small collection of possible terms and changes. You should seek the advice of a good attorney prior to attempting to implement any addendum to your lease.

Each party should have reasonable information as to the other's business location and contact information.

Option to Renew
Tenant should negotiate for an option to extend the term of the lease for at least two consecutive extended terms, provided (a) Tenant is not in default at time of the exercise of the respective option, (b) Tenant gives advance notice of its intention to exercise the respective option prior to the expiration of the existing term. The extended term should be based upon the same terms and conditions.

Common Area/Maintenance Fees
Landlord's common area and/or maintenance expense charges should not include rent insurance, debt service, depreciation, interest, capital expenditures to the extent paid from reserves previously accrued or otherwise, cost of tenant improvements, leasing commissions and income taxes paid by the Landlord.
The cost of improvements should be paid by Landlord. Tenant should only be required to accept the premises and occupy same as of the first day of the month following completion of the improvements and the issuance of a certificate of occupancy by appropriate governmental agency.

Layout Plan

The parties should agree that the landlord should attach the Tenant's typical layout plan as an Exhibit.


Tenant should provide its own signage.

Attorney Fees & Costs

The parties agree that if on account of any breach or default by the Tenant or Landlord in its obligations under this lease and Landlord or Tenant shall employ an Attorney at Law to represent, enforce or defend any of the Tenant's or Landlord's rights or remedies hereunder, the non-prevailing party agrees to pay the prevailing party's reasonable attorney's fees at both the trial and appellate level.

Cost of Living Increases

Less applicable in times of low inflation. The tenant will want to reduce the possibility of substantial increases in rental rates, but the landlord will always want to keep up with what the market will bear as it relates to rentals. Therefore, a negotiated limit or cap on any increase should be included in any commercial lease. However, the parties should always be wary: the smaller the increase in rent allowed, the shorter the lease and vice versa.

Tenant should negotiate for a reasonable number of parking spaces. It may also be possible to include a term allowing the purchase of additional spaces as needed.


The tenant should negotiate a term restricting the landlord's ability to sign any other tenants who are likely to compete against the tenant for the same customers.

Right of First Refusal

This will allow the tenant the first opportunity to lease contiguous space if and when it becomes available.

Rent Abatement

Whenever there is a term the landlord is firm on, the tenant may be able to receive from the landlord a rent abatement in lieu of amending the term.


Landlord shall never obstruct the view of Tenant's store front relative to the entrance to the shopping center any more than it is currently.

Condemnation & Eminent Domain
In the event any of Tenant's premises are taken by condemnation or eminent domain, Tenant shall be entitled to pursue and receive its claim for compensation for diminution in the value of its leasehold, reversion of the leased premises, diminution of Tenant's business, loss of leasehold improvements and costs incurred by Tenant removing and moving its furniture, fixtures and signs.

Maintenance fees

The tenant should only have to pay for its proportionate share of common area / maintenance fees related to operating the shopping center or office building. In addition, the tenant should require a cap on any increases in operating costs charged to the tenant. Landlord warrants that at no time shall Tenant be required to pay a sum in excess of any other Tenant's shopping center operating cost charge as computed on a square foot basis.

Air Conditioning & Ventilation

Landlord warrants that as of the occupancy date, the entire heating, air conditioning and ventilation system installed in the premises is in first class condition and properly working.

Right to Cancel

Tenant shall have the option of canceling this Lease if more than twenty percent of the shopping center is destroyed or if ten percent of the Tenant's unit is destroyed. Tenant should never be required to pay rent during any period in which the premises are unrenantable.


Landlord agrees to protect, indemnify, save, and keep and hold harmless the Tenant against any of or from all claims, loss, cost, damage, or expenses arising out of or from any environmental damage or contamination caused by the Landlord or any predecessor in interest to the demised premises or contiguous premises of the Tenant.

Occupancy Rate

Tenant should receive warranties from the landlord that if the total rentable space in the building/center remains vacant, then the tenant should get a reduced rental and/or the right to terminate the lease.

Local Compliance

Landlord warrants that the space leased hereunder shall be delivered to the Tenant in full compliance with all municipal, local, state and federal laws and warrants that the space leased hereunder is zoned for and may be utilized for the purposes contemplated herein.

Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and Arbitration should always specify a convenient location (preferably, in the same county where they run their business). Mediation is a non-binding way to settle the dispute quickly and amicably. If unable to settle in mediation, arbitration is first option available. Arbitration is the preferred alternative to litigation because of speed, cost, and ability to maintain low profile (no info is publicly available).

No Modification or Waiver
No modifications except those specifically agreed upon by the parties in writing. Any waiver of a term or provision will not act as a waiver of any other provision.

Entire Agreement
This agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties and may be modified only in a writing executed by both parties.

Notices should always list the current and best addresses where each party may contact the other for whatever reason.


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