Laws on Renting an Office
Renting can be relatively inexpensive and convenient especially for small businesses. However, renting comes along with a set of laws in dealing with the landlord or real estate firm. Anyone renting an office for whatever reason should be aware of the commercial lease agreement.
A commercial lease agreement is an agreement between the landlord or lessor, and the tenant or lessee. The agreement outlines the laws of both parties, along with any other specific terms and clauses. Commercial lease agreements cover the operation of retail shop businesses, non-retail businesses and licences.
Some tenancy agreements if not all, specify the period of stay on the property. The commercial landlord-tenant law gives the right to rent for the specified period of time unless you breach the contract as a tenant. Where there is no specified period the landlord has to give a thirty-day written notice for eviction.
One benefit that comes with renting a property instead of buying is the fact that the landlord has to maintain the property. The extent of the maintenance depends on your tenancy agreement. On the same note, a tenant must keep the property in a good condition. Apart from structural repairs, most of the repairs fall on the tenant. Therefore a tenant should always ensure that the commercial lease absolves them of the burden of financing structural repairs.
When renting an office, most tenants may want to restructure the interior to fit their preferences. Regardless of all the changes it still remains the commercial landlord's property. Therefore, when signing the commercial lease one should agree with the landlord on what they can remove when the renting period is over.
What it Includes
A commercial lease agreement will include the rent to be paid. It is essential that a tenant get clarification whether the amount is inclusive of other operating costs such as water, electricity, tax among others. The law also cushions on rent increase without prior notice and valid reason.
In the case of taxes, landlords may attempt to assign paying various types of taxes to the tenant. Before you sign a commercial lease, seek clarification on the type of tax you will be responsible for.
The commercial lease agreement will include the security deposit amount that is paid by the tenant to the landlord. There should also be terms on how the fee can be refunded.
The law also requires that the agreement has to include a detailed description of the property. For example, whether there is parking and any other amenities. It should also include what activities the tenant can engage in.
Every tenant has a right to privacy. After renting an office one is entitled to do anything on the property as long as it is legal. The landlord has no right to bar a tenant from conducting business or inviting guests. On the same note, the landlord has to seek permission before accessing the office once it is rented out unless in emergency cases.
With all these in mind, it is advisable that anyone renting an office gets to familiarise themselves with the laws on renting, and if possible involve a lawyer. Where one feels it's burdensome, they can open a negotiation with the landlord and come to a common agreement.