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Landlords: Why You Shouldn't Sign A Commercial Lease Without A Lawyer

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If you are a landlord, you might try to handle as much of your job as possible without having to hire outside assistance. Being a do-it-yourself landlord can certainly come with its advantages, such as saving a significant amount of money on your rental business. However, there are some cases in which you are smarter to protect yourself by hiring a legal professional to assist you.

For example, if you are going to be renting out a residential property, you might find that an online lease template will be sufficient for your needs. However, if you are going to be renting out a commercial property, you are probably better off to hire a good commercial real estate lawyer to help you draw up the right lease. These are a few reasons why.

Commercial Tenants are More Likely to Make Changes to Your Property

In many cases, residential tenants will leave your property as-is for the simple fact that they don't want to spend time and money renovating a property that will never belong to them. This is not usually the case with commercial rentals, however. Business owners often have to make significant changes to the properties that they rent in order to make them work for their business-related needs. To ensure that these changes do not negatively affect you or your property, you might want to hire a lawyer to help you draw up the proper lease. For example, you may want to ensure that your lease states that any changes must be paid for by the tenant and that the property must be returned to its original condition at the end of the lease.

You Could Be Held to a Higher Standard

As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your properties are up-to-code in your area. Although this might be easy with residential properties -- such as by keeping working smoke detectors in the home and ensuring that the windows can be opened and closed in the event of an emergency -- there are often much stricter requirements when it comes to a commercial property. You may wish to stipulate that your tenant is responsible for certain things, such as installing a fire suppression system if he or she is bringing a restaurant into your building. Including such things in your lease now can save you a lot of money and legal troubles later.

These are just a few things to consider if you are signing a commercial lease rather than a residential one. Luckily, a good commercial real estate lawyer should be able to assist you with coming up with the right lease to protect yourself as a landlord.

For a professional real estate lawyer, contact an attorney such as Steve Butcher Sr.