A commercial lease details the lease arrangements between you and the property owner. Most people sign the document before assessing the various clauses. As a result, they suffer disappointment when they realise the landlord did not give them a full disclosure before signing the document. The extract below details some essential clauses to examine before signing a commercial lease

Property Maintenance

Start by examining who maintains the shared property, such as staircases, lawns, the parking lot, and washrooms. In most cases, you will share the premises with other tenants. Therefore, each tenant should contribute a small share towards maintaining the shared property. Moreover, you should assess the use of the shared areas. For example, how many parking slots are allotted to each tenant? Are you allowed to hold company events on the rooftop?


Most property owners insure their buildings against natural hazards. However, you will be required to take liability insurance to ensure the property owner is not exposed to liability claims caused by your negligence. For instance, if a client suffered injuries on your leased premises, they could include the property owner in the suit. Therefore, most property owners ask their tenants to take this insurance coverage. 

Property Renovation

In some cases, you may need to improve the rented premises. For instance, you could opt for a retail fit-out to make your space appealing to customers. Read the rental contract to know whether you are allowed to renovate your space. Sometimes, the property owner will prohibit renovations that affect the structural integrity of the building. For instance, they could restrict you from moving a pillar. Moreover, the improvement works must be considerate of other tenants. Therefore, you should control dust and noise on the premises. 

Competing Businesses

It would be disheartening if the landlord leased out part of the building to your competition. Therefore, ensure the lease contract contains a clause protecting you from competing businesses without consulting you. In some cases, you could allow the landlord to allow a complementing business. For instance, if you own a restaurant, you could allow the landlord to lease the property to a sports bar, as long as the establishment does not serve food. 

Contract Termination 

Under what conditions can either party terminate the contract? The contract should explain the terms of contract termination. For instance, if the property owner wants you to move out, they must give you several months' notice. Moreover, check whether the contract is renewable at the expiration of the agreement.