Securing Your Location and Lease - Seattle Contractor BUILT-RIGHT®
Successfully Completed Over 500 Fast-Track Tenant Improvement Projects and Counting

Essential Preparation to Help You
Secure Your Location and Your Lease


Securing favorable lease terms can have a dramatic impact on the profitability of your business during the lease term.


Lease negotiation is just that – a negotiation.


Knowledge and preparation can help you understand the give and take required to get the deal done.

Lease Negotiations


  Prepare a lease proposal or ask for a proposal from the landlord’s broker.



Use comparable properties to validate the rental rate and tenant improvement allowance.


  Verify total tenant improvement scope of work required to open your business.


  Identify improvements that would be useful to future tenants like ADA restrooms and ADA accessibility improvements. Add these items to the landlord’s improvement list.


  Use the commercial lease – basic tenant checklist to identify some common tenant improvement and building issues that may occur.



Ask for time to acquire building permits and complete improvements. If there is a change of use from the permitted use than it will take more time to receive a permit.


  Ask for a digital Auto CAD copy of the building drawings for your space. Make sure you have them in hand and they are what you need before signing the lease. If they are not available add the cost to create them to either to the landlords work or the tenants work. It is likely that they will not be available after you sign the lease.


  If tenant improvements require a building permit then make the lease contingent on receiving a building permit and receiving an occupancy permit for the intended use.


  If the space is currently occupied check for language in the lease that will delay rent until you have full access to the space. The existing tenant may not move out in time.


  Agree on rent rate, terms and tenant improvement scope of work allocations. Leasing is very complicated and can easily be worth more than your house. It would probably be a good idea to seek professional help from a qualified lease attorney.




This document is provided to as a helpful resource. It is a starting point but it is not intended to cover every conceivable situation. Using experienced advisors should always be considered before you sign any lease or commit to any outlay for tenant improvements.

Guide provided by BUILT-RIGHT®.  - © 2012

Click here to download a PDF version of this guide.

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