Five Things to Look for When Signing a Lease for Commercial Office Space

Signing a lease for commercial office space is a significant commitment for any business. It’s essential to thoroughly evaluate the lease terms to avoid any potential pitfalls and ensure the space meets your company’s needs. Here are five key factors to consider before signing:

  1. Lease Duration and Flexibility: The length of the lease term is a critical consideration. While longer leases may offer lower monthly rates, they can also lock you in for an extended period, limiting your flexibility. Look for clauses that allow for lease renewal or early termination, ideally with minimal penalties. This flexibility can be crucial if your business needs change unexpectedly.
  2. Rent and Additional Costs: Beyond the base rent, it’s vital to understand all additional costs that may be involved. Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees, utilities, insurance, and property taxes can add up quickly. Make sure these costs are clearly outlined in the lease agreement. Additionally, clarify whether the rent is fixed or subject to increases, and if so, how these increases are calculated.
  3. Space Customization and Improvements: Your office space should support your business operations effectively. Determine what modifications or improvements are allowed and who is responsible for these costs. Some landlords may offer tenant improvement allowances (TIAs) to help cover the expense of customizing the space to meet your needs. Ensure these details are explicitly mentioned in the lease.
  4. Maintenance and Repairs: Understand the division of responsibilities regarding maintenance and repairs. Typically, landlords handle structural repairs and common areas, while tenants are responsible for interior upkeep. Make sure the lease specifies who is accountable for different types of maintenance and repairs to avoid unexpected expenses.
  5. Exit Strategy: Having a clear exit strategy is crucial. Review the conditions under which you can sublease the space or assign the lease to another party. Also, be aware of any penalties for breaking the lease early. An exit strategy provides a safety net if your business circumstances change.

By paying close attention to these factors, you can secure a commercial office lease that supports your business growth and minimizes potential risks. Always consider consulting with a commercial real estate attorney to ensure your interests are well-protected.


Plaza Companies is a full-service real estate firm specializing in the leasing, management, construction, and development of some of the most innovative commercial real estate projects in Arizona.  Our firm specializes in staying connected and conscientious of all emerging trends in commercial real estate. Contact us today to learn more about leasing the right space or anything else we offer!

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