Commercial Leases

These can be a strange breed of cat.  Not only are they usually very long and boring to read, regardless of whether you understand them or not, they are almost always tilted very much in favor of whomever wrote them.  Usually that is the landlord or the lawyer for the landlord.

No, they are not “just like” the lease on your house or apartment except longer.  For one thing, they normally have no way out.  If it is a 5 year lease, then you’re in it for 5 years.  You can’t go to the landlord and say “Hey, business isn’t going so well for me lately.  How about we just cancel this thing?”  Good luck with that.

And No, just because the landlord’s leasing agent originally told you could put up whatever you want for signs, doesn’t mean that you can.  Many verbal promises and representations are made to prospective tenants to get them to sign a lease.  When a dust up happens later between you and the landlord, what the lease actually says will govern.  And don’t forget, when that happens, the landlord will be well armed with a lawyer.  Who will be in your corner?

How do you protect yourself?  Get some good legal advice BEFORE you sign.  You may not have a lot of bargaining power with the landlord to change the wording of the lease, but at least you will know what you are signing and what the risks are.


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1700 Varsity Estates Drive NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 2W9          Calgary Franchise Lawyer
Office: (403) 457-4217 / Fax: (403) 210-3453