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Commercial Lease Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you run a business in and around the Pittsburgh area, you’ll likely need some kind of physical space to operate in. This may be an office space, a warehouse and distribution center, or a retail location. In today’s world, this can be a tall order given the high demand for retail property in the area. In fact, according to a 2022 report put out by Colliers, new construction of these spaces continues to rise, going from 116,000 ft² in the second quarter to over 368,000 ft² in the fourth.

Any time you enter into a commercial lease agreement, you should first have it evaluated by a professional. This is true for landlords as well as tenants, and if you’re searching for a reliable real estate lawyer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, you can count on me at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. From my home office, I’m also able to help those throughout Allegheny County and all of the surrounding counties, including Butler, Westmoreland, Beaver, Armstrong, and Washington. Call me today to get started. 

Commercial Leases in Pennsylvania  

Unlike most residential leases which tend to be very similar, commercial leases can vary greatly depending on the property and the needs of the landlord and tenant. Typically, there’s no standard form that’s used, and the lessor may use any number of documents as part of the agreement. Furthermore, most commercial leases come with far fewer consumer protections than a residential lease, which means the onus is on both parties to ensure the agreement meets their needs and they’ll be able to comply with all provisions. That said, there’s also a lot of flexibility within a commercial lease which lets you customize it.  

Central to understanding how the lease works is having a clear idea of both commercial lease landlord rights and commercial tenant rights:  

  • Tenant Rights: Because each commercial lease will be different, the rights and responsibilities under it for the tenant will also vary. Typically, the tenant is responsible for paying rent, utilities, taxes, and insurance, and may be required to pay for maintenance. If the space is part of a larger complex, the tenant may also have the right to use these shared spaces.  

  • Landlord Rights: Typically, landlords hold more power than tenants in commercial leases than they do in residential leases. For example, even if a tenant is one day late paying rent, the landlord can take steps to begin evicting them unless the terms of the lease allow more time to pay. In most cases, the landlord is responsible for most of the repairs and maintenance, but this should be spelled out specifically in the provisions of the lease.  

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Important Provisions of a Commercial Lease  

As stated above, each commercial lease will differ from one another, but some common components include:  

  • The rent amount, when it must be paid, and what the penalties are for late or missing payments. 

  • The term of the lease and what the process is for renewing it. 

  • A “description of premises” clause that describes the building or space to be leased, especially if the space will be shared with another tenant. 

  • What the space can and can’t be used for. 

  • Whether the original lessee is allowed to sublease before the end of the term and under what restrictions. 

Additional Lease Considerations  

In addition to the standard commercial lease agreement, you should ensure you know the restrictions and expectations about the following: 

  • Maintenance of the facility/property: In many cases, the tenant is responsible for leaving the property in the same state it was when they first started renting, but the landlord may also be responsible for regular maintenance and repairs that weren’t due to the negligence of the tenant.   

  • Utilities: Tenants are usually required to pay all their own utilities unless otherwise specified in the lease. However, they may not be responsible for utilities for shared spaces or may only have to contribute a portion of these expenses.  

  • Modifications you are allowed to make: If modifications are allowed, the lease should spell out how these should be done and whether the property will eventually need to be returned to its former state.  

  • Property taxes: In some cases, the tenant will contribute a portion to the property taxes, while in others, the landlord will be responsible for everything.  

  • Insurance: All leases should contain information about what kinds of insurance policies must be in place and who is responsible for paying for them.  

How Your Real Estate Attorney Can Help  

Any time you’re entering into a commercial lease agreement, either as the tenant or landlord, you need to work with a qualified real estate attorney to ensure your interests are properly represented. A skilled lawyer can review all documents related to the lease, make sure you understand every provision, and help you negotiate with the other party so you reach an agreement that truly meets your needs. 

Commercial Lease Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

If you’d like to learn more about entering into a commercial lease and how you can best safeguard your interests, call me at Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to schedule a consultation.