1. To Review a Lease. You’ve been able to negotiate with the landlord over provisions you want included in the lease. You think the draft of the lease accurately and adequately represents your interests. Nonetheless, you have this nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something. The landlord wants you to sign the lease. What should you do? Consult an attorney. An attorney should always review a lease prior to signing.
2. To Review a Purchase Agreement. You’ve decided to purchase a building. This is the first time you’ve purchased commercial property. The owner has given you a purchase contract to sign. What should you do? Consult an attorney. An attorney should be consulted before a purchase contract is signed. The attorney can advise you about local codes, zoning regulations, assessments against the property, liens, and environmental concerns
3. To Draft Critical Lease Clauses. You’ve decided on the location and discussed with the landlord certain provisions that you want included in the lease. These provisions are very important to you. The landlord has tentatively agreed to add these provisions to the lease. The landlord has suggested that you write down what you want and he will have his attorney incorporate these provisions into the lease. You’ve never written anything like this before. You want to make sure that your needs are met and that there is no confusion over the meaning of these provisions. What should you do? Consult an attorney. The attorney can draft these clauses for you. The attorney can make sure that your wants and needs are met and that there is no confusion over the meaning of these provisions.
4. To Help You Decide Whether to Lease or Purchase. You’ve found two facilities that both meet the needs of your business. One is for lease and one is for sale. You’re not sure which would be a better deal. What should you so? Consult an attorney. An attorney can review the sales agreement and the lease agreement in light of your short- and long-term needs and financial situation, and eliminate some of the uncertainty of this important decision.
5. To Negotiate a Lease. The location and facility are perfect for your business. You’ve told the landlord that you want this property. In fact, you’ve gone on and on about how perfect this location is for your business. The landlord hands you a “boiler plate” lease and tells you that the terms are non-negotiable. You try negotiating with the landlord but he won’t budge. What should you do? Consult an attorney. Like any other contract, the terms of a lease are negotiable. You may be too close to the situation, however, to negotiate a lease that best serves your interests. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf.
6. To Research Zoning Laws. You’ve found the perfect spot for your business but you’re not sure whether the area is zoned for your type business. The landlord doesn’t think there are any zoning restrictions but cannot give you any assurances. What should you do? Consult an attorney. The attorney can research the zoning laws for you. You will then be sure that your business can locate in the area without running afoul of any zoning laws.
7. To Review a Real Estate Agent’s Contract. You’ve spent several months searching for a location for your business. You’ve found a few sites that might work but would like to broaden your search. You think that a commercial real estate agent may have access to additional properties. You contact an agency and meet with the agent. You decide to sign on with the agency. The agent then hands you an exclusive representation agreement. You read the agreement but aren’t sure of the restrictions contained in it. What should you do? Consult an attorney. The attorney will explain the agreement to you before you sign it. The attorney can make sure that any properties that you found on your own prior to engaging the services of the commercial real estate agency are not subject to the restrictions in the agreement.
8. To Ensure Compliance with the ADA. You’ve purchased an old building that needs some refurbishing. To save money, you decide that you and your brother will make the improvements. You know that the building must be accessible to disabled persons but you don’t know what else must be done to the building to comply with the ADA. What should you do? Consult an attorney. The attorney can advise you of what is required under the ADA.