Learn the standard jargons in commercial property leases

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Once you’ve found the perfect space for your business and checked the details of the lease, it is also important to understand the basic terms used, so you and the real estate agent can meet halfway.

Real estate broker – An agent who works for a realtor or a real estate company, although some solely represent themselves to clients. Agents keep parties fully informed and it is basically their duty to represent the client’s interest in any transaction. The agents, licensed by RERA, should also have a trade license with an impressive portfolio representing the seller of the property.

Common area maintenance charges – These are extra fees paid monthly, quarterly or annually. Property owners may need to bill tenants from time to time when the need for repairs in vents; electrical, plumbing and security systems and other facilities arises. These fees are added on top of the base rent. Tenants need to review such charges as some landlords take advantage by passing as much overhead expenses as possible.

Usable square feet – It is the total land area in square feet occupied by the tenants within the walls and partitions of the property. The area includes closets, bathrooms, storage and others, but not the communal areas in a building such as lobbies, restrooms, stairwells, storage rooms and shared hallways.

Non-compete clause – This is a contract that prevents landlords from renting their other properties within the same development or area to a similar business or a direct competition of the current tenants. This is something that tenants need to review and make sure of to protect their business interests and investments.

Gross lease – This is a type of contract where tenants only pay a flat amount or base rent covering all operating costs that may incur during the lease. Property owners take care of the maintenance, taxes or insurance; thus, they keep tenants from any unexpected expenses associated with the property upkeep.

Handy Hints
• The contract must cover all the additional fees you need to pay
• Make sure all repairs or upgrades are done before you move in
• Check the lease deposit amount required and if it is refundable

Source: Cleofi-Krista Capili, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer

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