I am in the process of moving out of my home office and renting commercial space.
I found a place nearby that I really like. It's clean, well-kept, and has plenty of room for myself and two employees, has a great view of main street, and the price is competitively priced for this area (only $375/month). There is only one other office for rent in the area - it's a little more expensive and the building is pretty run-down.
Bottom line: I want this office.
My problem: I was a little overwhelmed by the lease paperwork. It was 9-pages, tiny-print, all big legal words, and there were things that didn't make sense. So I showed it to my lawyer friend before I signed anything. He read it over and said I was right to be concerned about a number of things.
examples of problems:
He requirs me to purchase liability insurance, but he also said I would be responsible for paying a portion of his liability insurance. (He should only require one or the other.)
I don't plan on being late with the rent, but his late fees are ridiculous - $40/day for each day late (that's 1200 per month!).
The lease does not say he's responsible for snow and ice removal, and that I am liable if a person injures themselves (there are many tenants in this building - I would assume he should be responsible for clearning and ice.)
He says there are quarterly fees for cleaning and repairing common areas - but he doesn't say the exact amount... he just says he'll send a bill.
There are many more "shady" points, but you get the idea.
My lawyer tells me to simply tell him all the things I want changed and have him re-write the lease. That's easy for him to say - I can't imagine this guy is going to scrap his lease and re-write 20+ parts for me.
1) Go down the street to the more expensive office in the run-down building.
2) Approach the landlord with a laundry list of things I need him to change in the lease. (He doesn't seem like a patient man, I think he's going to tell me to sign it or walk away.)
3) Just sign the thing so I can finally move in and get back to my business.
I am a little overwhelmed right now and I'd appreciate any thoughts on my situation. Thanks.