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Congratulations! You have launched a new business and are ready to lease a commercial space. While you may have leased an apartment in the past, there are a few unique considerations when leasing commercially. Here are a few things that can help you to avoid lease-related civil litigation in NYC.

Common Area Maintenance and Other Fees

In addition to your monthly lease, you will likely be required to pay a percentage of the common area maintenance (CAM) fees and property taxes. The types of maintenance CAM covers and the cap on how much can be charged should be clearly outlined in your lease. For example, you might be expected to cover essential HVAC repairs carried out by experts similar to the ones found at, but you may not want to be responsible for optional redecorating costs. You must also ensure you understand what portion of ongoing repairs, maintenance, and essential renovations you are required to pay. You will likely be responsible for the cost of renovations required to meet your business needs, but you must clearly outline in your lease what general and ongoing fees you are responsible for. An attorney can help you to determine and negotiate these fees.

The Right to Sublease or Transfer Your Lease

While it may not be your original plan, you may want to sublease your space to a secondary tenant. If you have a portion of your space that you don’t use regularly, you may decide to sublet the space to another company. Without a provision allowing for subleasing, you may not be able to reap the benefits of this coworking arrangement. Or, let’s say that you sign a multi-year lease-but your business booms and you outgrow your space. Many landlords will want to terminate the lease, which can be costly, so ask for a provision to transfer the remainder of your lease to a new tenant.

Finally, to ensure you understand all lease provisions, it is best to have an attorney negotiate on your behalf-with or without you present. Your attorney understands the common risk factors and can guide you on the most proactive approach for your business. As a civil litigation attorney in NYC, Warren S. Dank is here to assist. We have worked closely with both commercial real estate and landlord/tenant cases and will negotiate and arbitrate on your behalf.