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Do you qualify to break your commercial lease?

Business owners generally have the best of intentions when they enter into a commercial lease. Various factors may change, diminishing a business owner’s need for their leased space. Maybe their entrepreneurial endeavor hasn’t been as successful as they would have liked, and thus, they no longer need the space. Or, maybe their business has been more successful than expected, and the space they’re renting is too small. All kinds of different reasons can put a business owner in this position.

What happens then? If this is your situation, you need to know what options you have to break your lease. The first place to start is by getting your lease out and examining its terms. 

What to know about commercial lease provisions

All commercial leases should contain terms and conditions that spell out when you can justifiably break the agreement early. Quite often, commercial leases require a tenant to “buy out” the remainder of their lease if they wish to leave early so that the landlord incurs no financial burden. However, those same provisions may also allow you to justifiably break your lease if your landlord has failed to adequately maintain their building or the premises become unsafe.

Some leases may allow you to sublet your space to another business or vendor — but you may need to seek your landlord’s approval, first. Others may have additional restrictions. Knowing the options is important as you move forward.

Negotiating with a landlord when breaking a lease

Your landlord may be open to allowing you to break your lease early. They’re most likely to do so if their building has limited vacancies and can charge a new tenant a higher rental amount. There’s very little to lose by just approaching your landlord honestly about the problem and asking if they’ll work with you.

You may also want to negotiate a buyout, where you pay your landlord a certain percentage of what you owe in exchange for you turning the property over to lease once again right away. 

The legal jargon used in commercial contracts can be challenging to understand. An attorney can review your commercial lease and help you negotiate an amicable solution for your problem.