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  • David Ratner

What should I know about commercial leases in New York?

Commercial leases in New York have several key aspects that you should be aware of. It's important to remember that this information is general in nature, and specific situations might require the expertise of a real estate attorney. Here are some fundamental points to consider:

  • Types of Commercial Leases: There are different types of commercial leases, such as gross leases, net leases, and modified gross leases. Each type determines how costs like taxes, insurance, and maintenance are divided between the landlord and tenant.

  • Lease Duration and Renewal Terms: Commercial leases typically have longer terms than residential leases. Understand the lease duration, options for renewal, and conditions under which the lease can be extended or terminated early.

Commercial Real Estate Advice

  • Rent and Escalation Clauses: Pay attention to how the rent is calculated and whether there are provisions for rent increases, often referred to as escalation clauses. These can be based on fixed amounts, percentages, or tied to indexes like the Consumer Price Index.

  • Use Clause: This specifies what the leased premises can be used for. It's crucial to ensure that your intended use is allowed under the lease.

  • Improvements and Alterations: Understand your rights and responsibilities regarding improvements or alterations to the property. This includes who bears the cost and whether such improvements must be removed at the end of the lease.

  • Maintenance and Repairs: The lease should clearly outline who is responsible for maintenance and repairs. In some commercial leases, the tenant may be responsible for all or most repairs.

Commercial Real Estate Attorney

  • Sublease and Assignment: Check if you have the right to sublease the property or assign the lease to another party, and under what conditions.

  • Termination and Default Provisions: Understand the conditions under which the lease can be terminated and what constitutes a default. This section should also outline the remedies available to both parties in case of a default.

  • Insurance and Liability: Determine what types of insurance are required and who is responsible for obtaining them. This includes liability insurance and, in some cases, property insurance.

Commercial Real Estate Lease Review

  • Compliance with Laws: The tenant is usually responsible for ensuring that their use of the property complies with all local, state, and federal laws, including zoning, health, and safety regulations.

  • Dispute Resolution: Many commercial leases include clauses specifying how disputes related to the lease will be resolved, such as through arbitration or litigation.

  • Personal Guarantee: Small businesses or startups might be asked to provide a personal guarantee on the lease, which can have significant personal financial implications.

Commercial Real Estate Law

It's crucial to read and understand all the terms of a commercial lease before signing. Given the complexity and long-term commitment involved in commercial leases, consulting with a real estate attorney who is knowledgeable about New York laws can be very beneficial. Remember, this information is a general guide and not a substitute for professional legal advice.

Steven Hafif, a distinguished attorney at AGMB Firm, excels in handling Commercial Real Estate matters. For his expertise, visit

I've had a fantastic experience working with Steven Hafif and have confidently recommended him to numerous clients due to his exceptional service.


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