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Three important lease renewal tips for commercial tenants

Renewals in commercial leasing can be almost as important as securing a lease in the first place....

Renewals in commercial leasing can be almost as important as securing a lease in the first place. There is quite a bit of finesse to this process.

First piece of advice: don’t leave it up to your landlord or property manager to remind you about an upcoming renewal. Print off your critical dates for rent escalations, expiries, notice periods, etc.

Keep those dates handy and update whatever calendar system you utilize to remind yourself well in advance of them coming due.

Outlook is especially helpfully for this, as it allows you to pin a date/time and set a reminder notification as far out as necessary.

Another good way to alert yourself is by redundantly adding those dates into your phone calendar.

As the tenant, your best first step in a renewal negotiation will start with you initiating it.

Gather data

Whether a market is up or down, it’s important to seek comparable vacancies before signing on the renewal dotted line.

Commercial real estate brokers work not only for landlords, but we also represent tenants in renewals.

We are your best third-party resource to suss out the “best” deal being offered.

This isn’t just about the rate, it’s also about the potential costs of moving such as fixturing a new location. We can help you do that math to see if it’s worth it.

Time is ticking

If you’re renewing your lease as part of an option to renew from your lease, don’t wait too long.

Options such as this will typically have a time period during which you must notify your landlord of your intent to exercise.

If the date lapses, it doesn’t mean you can’t stay and renew, but the landlord is no longer obligated to negotiate with you.

There could also be instances where it benefits the landlord if you leave.

My bonus advice is this: tenants, and sometimes landlords, can hit snooze on a renewal and forget all about it.

Don’t be that guy.

Make sure you get your renewal in writing, otherwise you are effectively entering into a month-to-month tenancy.

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