Tenants Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations! If you are reading this, you have likely decided to take the first steps into leasing your first commercial property. Weather you are leasing an office, retail space, warehouse or even vacant land, there are a few things you should be ready for when exploring your options.

Do I need a tenant agent to represent me?

There is no requirement for you to have anyone represent you in a lease transaction. A tenant representative does a lot of the leg work for you though, and may know of the “off market” opportunities and new to the market property that would be difficult to find other wise.

What are CAM or NNN, Triple Net charges?

These are all operating expenses for a building that are many times passed onto a tenant. These can include property taxes, lawn care, snow removal, repairs and maintenance, paving work, management of the building and more. The fee is generally in additional rent that can be collected monthly, quarterly or bi yearly.

Who pays for changes to the building I am leasing?

The short answer is, the tenant does. But the way in which you pay for it can vary greatly. You may complete your updates yourself, have the landlord complete them and bill you or have the expenses rolled into the monthly lease cost.

How can I save money on my lease?

Ask your leasing professional if they have any insight as to the motivation of the Landlord. Often times, a longer lease term will get you a better rate, discounts or improvements to the space. There may be other motivations to the owners that could make a difference as well.

How long is a typical commercial lease?

A typical lease is 5 years in commercial leasing, however it is not uncommon to see as short as a year term. The issue with short term leases is, as a tenant you are exposed to price increases or worse, not having your lease renewed and having to move.

Why should I consider a Tenant Broker?

Tenant brokers take a big load off you in searching and have experience that will likely save you time looking at the wrong properties. They are able to take your needs, the ability of the buildings and local regulations into consideration when recommending locations.

Who pays the Tenant Broker?

Generally, the tenant broker is paid by the Landlord of the property you lease. If your have another arrangement with your broker, you will have a written agreement before they start work.

What are the different lease types?

Lease types range from “Full Service” which as the name applies, includes everything including janitorial, down to absolute Triple Net, which means you pay for everything and all repairs. Here are some more common types in the Lansing area

NNN or Triple Net: You are paying the portion of the real estate taxes, building insurance, snow removal, lawn care, repairs and maintenance and fixing anything that breaks in your suite along the way.

You may even be paying part of a management fee for the property. These charges are generally expressed in a price per square foot, per year and can be charged to the tenant monthly, quarterly or bi annually.

NN or Modified Gross Leases: In these lease types, you are generally paying your own utilities and janitorial, but the common area expense and real estate taxes are included. These can include more or less though, so you always want to make sure you know what they are going to expect you to pay.

Gross Lease: Generally, a gross lease includes everything but janitorial services.

Full Service Lease: Full service leases include everything, including janitorial services, in the monthly rate.

What will it cost start a new lease?

Start up fees for a new lease typically include your first months rent and a security deposit. The deposit is normally equal to a month rent but can sometimes be more if the Landlord needs to mitigate risk.

What is the current rates for leasing?

Rate vary from property type to property type and even from location to location. Your leasing agent can assist in giving you guidance based on the property type and area you seek.