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More On The Essential Elements of a Commercial Lease

By Howard C. Stross
September 18, 2013

Access is part of a Commercial Lease that is important for both Tenants and Landlords

Before signing a commercial lease, tenants will look for how convenient access to the land and its improvements is by automobile and pedestrian. If customers cannot easily access the location, tenants may want to lease elsewhere.

Landlords are concerned about access for landlord’s purposes during the term of the commercial lease and immediately after the lease has expired.

Both tenant and landlord have a critical interest in seeing utility providers and other vendors and suppliers who require access to the exterior of the premises and the interior of improvements have reasonable access. Access may be limited to certain areas of the premises to install or provide support for telephone, internet service, satellite receivers, plumbing, electrical and other services. It benefits both tenant and landlord to state the exact days and times associated with who may enter the interior improvements, who may not, what kind of prior notice is required to landlord or tenant before entry, whether access is limited to a specific duration of time, and whether landlord must provide its written consent before another party may have entry to the interior of the improvements. Tenant will want notice from Landlord before maintenance or repairs start in or near the tenant’s location. Important to tenant is that landlord and others specified in the commercial lease may not perform work during business hours without the written consent of tenant, except for defined emergencies. A log would be maintained to show when and for how long a third party had access to essential equipment within the building. Landlord will want to know who has had access to its building service areas and why. That knowledge may make the difference in determining responsibility for injury to persons or damage to property.

The landlord has the right of entry, with reasonable notice to tenant, to make repairs, replacements, and improvements landlord deems necessary or that landlord must provide for the safety, protection or preservation of the building or when entry will facilitate the repairs, alterations, or improvements to the property or any tenant’s premises. Landlord also has the right of entry, with prior notice to tenant, to inspect the premises and to show the premises to prospective buyers, tenants and lenders.

Any tenant may want to provide in the lease that landlord’s right of entry may not disturb tenant’s use of the premises. Sometimes one sentence in a commercial lease can be a powerful provision for both landlord and tenant, such as “Landlord may enter the Premises at all reasonable times for purposes of inspection, to make repairs, and to exhibit the Premises to prospective lenders, purchasers and tenants; provided such entries may not unreasonably disturb tenant’s use of the Premises.”

This is the fourth article in a series of articles on elements of a commercial leases. The first article discussed utilities. The second article on sales tax can be accessed by clicking here. Click here for the third article, which discussed notices.

If you are negotiating a commercial lease or need other commercial landlord and tenant legal services, call 813-852-6500 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our real estate attorneys.

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