Checklist to evaluate lease terms
Before you rent a leasehold, make sure you're satisfied with the answers to these questions and that you get these details in writing:
> How long is the term of the lease ?
> What is the rent and how much will it increase over the term of the lease?
> Who pays for utilities, insurance, and property taxes?
> Are there any property tax escalation clauses? In other words, if the town raises property taxes, can the landlord pass them onto you?
> Are there maintenance charges for common areas shared by various tenants? If so, how are they computed?
> Who pays for fix-up costs to make the building suitable for veterinary work?
> What happens to the property at the end of the lease term?
> Is a security deposit required?
> Who signs and guarantees the lease?
> What are the repair and maintenance clauses vs. capitalized repairs? In other words, which repairs are considered wear-and-tear and the tenant's responsibility, and which are substantial repairs that improve the capital of the property and the landlord's responsibility?
> What are the options-to-renew clauses?
> Can the lease be assigned to someone of your choosing when you sell?
> Are there escape clauses, especially if the landlord is not fulfilling his or her end of the lease agreement?
> Are there any free rent periods?