Commercial Leasing 101: 5 things to negotiate before signing a lease

If you’re looking at leasing your first shop front or office space, just remember everything is negotiable! There are many ways to negotiate a great deal for your new space. Here are 5 things you should consider negotiating in your lease:

1. Rent

Have you done some market research? It’s a good idea to look at similar spaces in the area and their current rent to make sure you’re getting a good deal. If you’re prepared to enter into a longer term lease, this can also be a way to negotiate a lower rent as landlords are eager to keep their premises occupied.

2. Rent free period/ rent incentive

Does the space need some touch ups? Or will you being doing an extensive fitout? It’s worth asking for a rent free period so that you can get the space ready and not have to start paying rent before you start trading. An alternative to a rent free period is a rent incentive. For example, you could ask for 6 months at half rent.

3. Fit out contribution 

Commercial and retail leasing can be competitive and some landlords are able to contribute towards your fitout costs to entice tenants.

4.  Outgoings

While it’s not easy to negotiate outgoings as they are fixed costs the landlord pays for the premises, it’s a good idea to know exactly what outgoings are included in the lease and how much they will be over the course of a year. 

5. Option Period

An option to renew benefits both the tenant and the landlord. The advantage of an option as a tenant is that you have an automatic right to extend your lease (on exactly the same terms) once the initial term has expired. 

In addition to the above negotiation points, there are many things to consider when entering into a lease including your obligations for repair and maintenance, make good and redecoration. 

It’s always a good idea to have your lease reviewed by a lawyer before you sign. If you’re in the process of negotiating a new lease, get in touch with Emilia Cardillo, Principal Lawyer at We offer fixed fee pricing for all lease matters.

You can also check out our Free Smart Business Toolkit and get access to 7 areas to health check your business.

Disclaimer: the information contained in this post is not intended to be legal advice and you should consider obtaining your own legal advice before implementing any information in this post.

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