The first thing to remember is that, when it comes to renting commercial property, laws are diverse, complicated, and dense. Not only are there federal and state laws to deal with, there are local regulations specific to different cities and counties.
It is best to always work with a real estate attorney to ensure you are operating within the bounds of all applicable laws. Even if you are working with an attorney, it is wise to familiarize yourself with a few different areas of law that will invariably apply to your commercial property.
Landlord/tenant law is designed to protect the rights of tenants and landlords equally. It is important to have an understanding of these laws to ensure that commercial property tenant rights are maintained. It is in everyone’s favor for both parties to operate with the bounds of their contract, as evictions are arduous and incredibly costly, more so for the landlord than the tenant.
Landlord/tenant laws vary greatly from state to state, so even if you are familiar with laws in one state, it is best not to assume that the laws will be the same in another state where you acquire commercial property.
Disclosure laws exist to maintain transparency and ensure that tenants are fully aware of the conditions of the properties they are looking at. Disclosure laws govern obvious things, like informing potential tenants of known toxic substances, but it is important to stay up to date on disclosure law, as more regulations are cropping up all the time, such as requiring accessibility inspections and providing information regarding the energy use of a property.
Zoning and Land Use Laws
Zoning laws dictate what businesses can and cannot operate on certain land or property. It is important to have an awareness of zoning law to avoid renting commercial space to a tenant who may not be able to operate out of that building.
Most contracts in the United States are governed by the Uniform Commercial Code. However, real estate transactions are covered by the Common Law of Contracts. The most important difference to note here is that the common law necessitates acceptance of terms with zero alterations. If any changes are made it is no longer an acceptance, it is a rejection and a counteroffer.
Any commercial property must be covered with insurance, but this insurance does not extend to its tenants. Any tenant will have to procure their own business insurance to protect their property and protect them from liability.
Being familiar with renting commercial property laws will always make owning commercial property easier, but it is best to always work with an attorney. As they are experts in these areas, they will be able to answer any questions, ensure you are not breaking any laws in regard to commercial property tenant rights, and protect you from being taken advantage of.