Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus

Posts Tagged ‘standard’

Beware of the Ordinary Wear & Tear Clause in a Commercial Lease

Many landlords and tenants, when negotiating a commercial lease, fail to appreciate the implications of incorporating certain “standard” provisions into the lease. Many unfortunately take comfort in boilerplate language that either of the parties (usually the landlord) used in prior leases. While such an approach may make for an uncomplicated lease drafting process (assuming the tenant is of the same mind), it could prove ultimately to be a rather expensive approach to managing the leasing process once the term ends and disputes arise over the condition in which the tenant has left the premises.

One very good example can be found in the usual wear and tear provision contained in most off-the-shelf commercial leases. These clauses usually provide that the tenant will return the premises in good repair, excepting normal wear and tear. While that is all well and good, the language does not come close to articulating either party’s respective rights or responsibilities as they relate to the wear and tear of the leased premises. Because of the lack of detail contained in many “wear and tear” clauses, the landlord and tenant may very well end up investing a lot of time and money to address issues that could have been more efficiently (i.e. cheaply) addressed at the lease negotiation stage.

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