Tenants: Beware Continuing Liability
(Excerpted from an interview with Todd Dorn, aka The Lease Doctor.)
- First, review your lease and final offer very carefully. Make sure everything you bargained for is included in those two documents. Have a knowledgeable third party go over your lease so that you can be aware of any potential financial exposure to you. Check all the math because mistakes that work in the landlord’s favor do happen.
- Second, do your research carefully as to what the market conditions are relative to rent rates, additional charges and concessions. This will help you negotiate with the landlord intelligently.
- Third, arrange for an independent, unbiased third party negotiate on your behalf instead of letting the landlord’s broker represent both sides. This will help you avoid any inherent “Dual Agency” conflict of interest in the negotiation.
- First, don’t rush or feel pressured into signing a lease quickly, even if you’re told that other people want to rent the same space you’re interested in renting.
- Second, don’t make assumptions based on verbal representations from the landlord’s side. Anything verbally communicated to you goes by the wayside once a lease is signed.
- Finally, don’t sign a lease unless you understand the full and actual costs, including tenant improvements, associated with leasing a particular place. Far too many tenants underestimate these costs.