We've written about common area maintenance in the past. And for good reason. Vague line items like "administrative fees" can be thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands or more. That's one reason you audit past CAM charges, especially where you've taken over a business. In other situations involving CAM, the property owner's estimates are off - by huge margins - and the tenant is hit with a massive bill.
"You made your bed. Now lie in it!"
At the end of the year, we wrote a post about how leasing space in shopping centers is all about anchor tenants (when it comes to altering the typical landlord-tenant power dynamic). If you are an anchor tenant, this changes how you approach commercial lease negotiations. In short, being an anchor tenant means that you generally have more power and flexibility in negotiating the terms of your lease, because the anchor tenant usually drives significant, consistent business to the shopping center, making the landlord keen on signing a lease.
Last month we talked about common area maintenance and the wildly fluctuating fees property owners charge tenants in some cases. Fees for CAM, as the name suggests, go toward the maintenance of common areas, like parking lots. A given tenant's CAM costs principally depend on the amount of rented square footage, but the property owner has a lot of discretion in determining CAM costs. In other words, tenants should double-check that they aren't being over-charged.
The title of this post is a cheeky reference to acclaimed fiction writer Raymond Carver, who died in 1988, and his 1981 short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Many of Carver's stories are populated with "regular" characters facing workaday circumstances, like the fraught relationship between a husband and wife.
The commercial lease is a complex legal contract, often the launching point of your business as it moves from the bank and into physical reality. While there are all means of details in the document, rent is always the overarching and dominant point.
Commercial tenants often sign a lease and forget about the agreement until the last couple of months before its expiration. Yet there are important facets of business leases that every commercial property tenant needs to review to ensure that they do not incur excessive charges from their landlords.
Opening a business is an extremely exciting time for the owners. You and your business partners will have spent many months getting things ready to be sure that you are ready to go when you open your doors.