Good Lawyers for Good People

Tips to make sure you sign a lease on your terms

May 28

LAW OF THE LAND

With Nick Earl

A business is more than just bricks and mortar but, depending on what your venture is, its location can make or break how much custom you get.

A waterfront restaurant, for instance, might not have the same appeal if it were to move inland.

Which is why it’s extremely important to make sure that when you sign a lease, the terms protect you and any goodwill that is attached to the location.

The duration of a lease is another important consideration. If you are starting a new business, it may be wise to take a short lease term with a number of rights of renewal rather than a long term upfront.

There are also different ways in which rent can be reviewed, which can have an effect on your business if this was not anticipated at the outset.

The integrity of the building itself is equally important. Under the Building Act, commercial buildings must meet specified earthquake standards. You need to be aware of whether the building has been assessed and if any work is pending. If necessary, adding clauses to the lease agreement can protect you in the event that work needs to be carried out, for instance, compensation for relocation or termination of the lease.

When you lease business premises, there’s more to it than just signing on the bottom line. A standardised lease agreement won’t necessarily safeguard you against different eventualities. With sound legal advice you can add extra clauses to protect your interests – whether you are a tenant or a landlord.

- Weekend Sun, May 25, 2018


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