Shopping Mall Leases

Legal Article

Shopping Mall Leases

Shopping mall leases can be some of the most challenging and strict leases encountered by business owners. Most shopping mall leases require a company to guarantee thousands of dollars upfront. This guarantee will then be paid off throughout the contracts life. Even for successful and established businesses, guaranteeing tens of thousands of dollars over the course of many years can be detrimental to the company’s overall success. Couple this with strict unwavering landlords, and it is clear to see why having an experienced business partner is vital to successfully signing a fair shopping mall lease. At Antonoplos & Associates, we have helped large and small businesses negotiate shopping mall leases for over 20 years. We have listed below common issues and tips on how to successfully negotiate a shopping mall lease.

Common Issues with Mall Leases

With a constant want for space, shopping mall landlords can be some of the most difficult in real estate. Large corporations that have a retail space in most American malls have the staff and know-how to negotiate a fair lease agreement with difficult landlords. However, local small businesses tend not to fair as well. This stems from a lack of experience and increased pressure from the mall landlords. Especially when dealing with small businesses, landlord tends to look for an all-or-nothing lease. A lease that allows for no possible negotiations or concessions understandably makes potential tenants afraid to sign. However, this type of lease also makes tenants feel pressured to commit. They understand the potential benefits of a shopping mall retail space, however, they are also nervous about issues.

While some landlords refuse to change their rules, hiring experienced legal counsel can make you more confidant in your decision. Antonoplos & Associates has helped large and small businesses negotiate shopping mall leases. We understand how to effectively advocate on your behalf. Most shopping malls landlords prefer businesses not to hire a lawyer. However, this is out of pure self-interest and can be detrimental to the ongoing success of a company.

Protect your Businesses Future Success

Shopping mall landlords seek contracts that offer them maximum flexibility. To achieve this goal, landlords typically go after short-term leases. If a tenant seeks a long-term lease, landlords expect hefty fees as a trade-off. Furthermore, mall landlords pray on tenant’s success. They do so by instituting marketing, maintenance, or other fees that are dependent on the total income of the business. By forcing tenants to agree to these terms, the landlords are the ones profiting off a business’s success. Thus, it is critical for businesses interested in signing a shopping mall lease to understand and negotiate the true cost of occupancy that extends beyond the base rent.

Timeline and General Rules

If you choose to enter into a business relationship with our firm, our first step is to conduct a thorough review of the landlord’s proposed lease. During this review, we will document proposed changes, general comments, and be sure to advise you of any concerns we may have with the language of the lease. This initial portion of the process is critical to getting preferable terms on the lease. Once you return the contract, it becomes almost impossible to make changes.

After we review, fine-tune, and receive your opinion on the first round of comments, the contract will be ready to present to the landlord. After delivering the lease to your potential landlord, we will schedule a meet or call with your company so we can prepare for any potential changes the landlord may have. This meeting allows our firm to help you decide what concessions are agreeable and what portions of the document must not change for the lease to be agreeable.

The final step in this process is to negotiate the remaining points of contention and to work with the landlord’s attorney to prepare a final lease agreement. While the initial step is the most critical to overall success, our firm prides our ability to finish strong and work with the landlord’s attorneys to get you a favorable lease agreement.