Office Lease Checklist (Part 3)

Office Lease Checklist

When negotiating the lease for an office space, the same issues frequently arise.  This article is the third in a series of three articles that provide office lease checklists for office tenants to use to review their office lease.  For more information on how to review your office lease, see Office Lease Checklist (Part 1) and Office Lease Checklist (Part 2).  Use the checklists in this three part series to make sure your office lease reflects what your tenant representation broker negotiated and to make sure problems won’t arise during your tenancy.

These office lease checklists are just a starting point.  Office tenants should retain a qualified, experienced tenant representation broker to negotiate their lease and a commercial real estate attorney to negotiate and review their lease contract.

Office Lease Checklist: Fine Print and Hidden Clauses

Remember to always read the fine print in your office lease.  A quiet, hidden clause at the end of a real estate contract may nullify some of the more noticeable and appealing clauses at the forefront of the agreement.

Review the following items in your office lease:

Square Footage: Landlords may change the square footage to include closet space or patios due to a general lack of knowledge on the guidelines for official square footage recording.  Upon questioning, a landlord may negotiate down on pricing when pressed on accurate measurements.

Hidden Fees in Office Lease for Fabricated Amenities: Look for crafty terminology to find included charges that are not standard, such as common room use, or exclusive residence use fees.

Look for Questionable Audit Phrasing: Be aware of the terminology of issues, problems or suggested future maintenance or service tucked into extensively worded audit reports.  These issues could be problematic and costly if left to the new owner or tenant to resolve.

Get Precise Wording for Subletting: If the tenant should expect to ever need to sublet the real estate, it is important to first have an accord before signing a lease as to under what confines this can occur, for fairness on the part of both parties.

Protection from Lenders: A good part of ownership security is a guarantee of no harassment by lenders that have dealt with the landlord. A tenant is well advised to ensure that a contract states no responsibility on their part is made to the lenders. A warning sign of preexisting lender issues is offense taken by the landlord at the request of such from a possible tenant.

At Golden Group Real Estate, we specialize in tenant representation real estate services for office space users in the Chicago area, helping local business owners find office space and negotiate lease and purchase agreements. We never represent landlords, so we are prepared to negotiate aggressively on behalf of our tenant clients.

For more on Golden Group Real Estate, read about our real estate services.  Let us know if we can help you find office space for rent or buildings for sale.  Call us at (630) 805-2463, email us at


Troy Golden

June 19, 2019

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