It's crucial to understand from the get-go that, practically and legally speaking, there are oceans of differences between commercial leases and residential leases. Commercial leases are not subject to most consumer protection laws that govern residential leases - for example, there are no caps on deposits or rules protecting a tenant's privacy. Keep in mind that besides the amount of the rent, other less conspicuous items spelled out in the lease may be just as crucial to your business's success. For instance, if you expect your shoe repair business to depend largely on walk-in customers, be sure that your lease establishes your right to put up a sign that's visible from the street. And if you are counting on being the only sandwich shop inside a new commercial complex, make sure your lease prevents the landlord from leasing to a competitor.
The following checklist includes many items that are often addressed in commercial leases. Pay special attention to a few of the terms, including:
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