When was the last time you read a website's terms and conditions before hitting accept? Most people these days are accustomed to accepting these agreements without even reading the fine print. This leaves you open to the other party taking advantage of you and your circumstances.
As a landlord or tenant, you must engage in lease negotiations before you sign any paperwork. There's always a chance that you can change the conditions of your agreement or even give yourself some wiggle room for things like renovations or allowing pets.
Here's how to negotiate your lease and get more favorable lease terms.
Contact a Lawyer
The first thing you want to do when signing any significant contract is to contact a lawyer for help. Lawyers know the legal limits when it comes to renting property, so they can ensure that a landlord isn't breaking the law.
At the same time, they can help a prospective tenant negotiate the lease and dispute any unnecessary or unlawful items in the contract. This is especially helpful if you're renting a large commercial or residential property.
Know Your Lease Options
Next, determine what kind of options you have when it comes to your lease.
For example, the Fair Housing Act requires landlords to allow reasonable modifications of living spaces when renting out to someone with a disability. The landlord permits the modifications while the resident still bears the cost of installation.
Another factor that can help when getting tenants to sign is allowing pets on your property. Usually, this comes with a fee to cover any potential damages caused by the pet.
Another part of your commercial lease negotiations that needs attention is your termination conditions. Lease terminations will vary depending on things like the type of property and how long it would normally take for the landlord to find a new tenant.
Favorable lease terms for tenants include the right to end their lease with a 30-day notice in advance. For landlords, this may also come with a forfeit of their security deposit and other fines.
As previously stated, tenants with disabilities are entitled to reasonable modifications. However, landlords can also promise leasehold improvements upon moving in as a way to attract new tenants.
One type of improvement that commercial property may need is new telephone lines installed. A doctor's office may need additional walls put up to create individual rooms.
It's possible that the landlord will need to install new flooring or insulation. These are all things the property owner can offer as an incentive for a tenant to rent out the space.
Get Help With Your Lease Negotiations
The problem with lease negotiations is that it's very easy for either party to sound demanding. Landlords want more financial security, while tenants want more comfort and independence. It's almost always better to bring in some kind of middleman to help with the negotiation process.
PMI of Memphis can manage both residential and commercial properties on your behalf. They can also speak with your tenants to work out a favorable deal for both parties. Contact us to learn more and to get your free rental analysis online.