We want to open a second sushi bar. What should we ask for in negotiating a lease?
We want to do business in a new shopping center. What can we reasonabily ask the landlord to do for us before we move in (i.e., gas piping, drain work, ceilings)?As my mother always says, "If you don’t ask, you don’t get." If the pipes are damaged, the ceiling is leaking and the drain is clogged, ask the landlord to fix them before you move in. The worst the landlord can say is no.
Be aware, though, that the changes the landlord refuses to make mean more costs for you before you get started. At the very least, you want to be able to start with a no-frills but clean, functional space. Make sure that any changes the landlord does agree to make for you are documented in your lease (or other agreement).
If the renovations are extensive, you may also want to request a rent abatement until you can move into the premises. A real estate attorney can help identify for you the items you can reasonably expect the landlord to agree to.
Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.