When compared to residential real estate leases, commercial real estate leases take on a whole different form. Commercial office space leases are more involved than residential leases, in general. Whereas with residential leases, there is usually a set lease amount which will not increase, commercial real estate differs in that these tenants will face rent escalations now and again during their lease term. The following will highlight
what rent escalations consist of, the types of rent escalations and why such escalations are necessary for commercial office space leases.
What Are Rent Escalations?
Rent escalations are increases in the rent which commercial tenants will see from time to time, usually on an annual basis. This type of rent escalation is due in part to increases which the landlord sees along the way and has to pay due to operating the commercial premises. If it weren’t for such rent escalation clauses, commercial landlords would take a hit when prices increased for them and couldn’t pass that increase along to the tenants unless it was already included in the lease. Therefore, commercial office space tenants will see rent escalation clauses in their commercial lease which show when the escalations will occur and other specifics as well.
Types of Rent Escalations
There are different types of rent escalations in the commercial real estate realm. Operating expense escalations are a primary type of rent escalation which commercial business tenants will see. Since operation costs often fluctuate, and primarily increase, the landlord has to have a way to offset such costs and pass along those increases to the commercial tenants. Some examples of rent escalations include utility increases, such as heating, air conditioning, trash removal and snow removal, janitor expenses, insurance, management fees, security, maintenance and more. Since these costs can often increase unexpectedly, the landlord then will put the rent escalations into motion and ask the tenant to pay an increased amount due to the increase in operation costs.
Rent escalations may also take effect when real estate taxes are increased. Since this expense cannot always be calculated in advance, it helps for there to be a rent escalation clause in the lease which the landlord can use to aid them should rent increases be necessary. As the rent escalation clause is in writing, it gives the commercial office space tenant notice about possible increases during the lease term.
Why Rent Escalations Are Necessary
Some tenants may feel as if their commercial lease rate should be constant each and every year. However, with the fluctuation of operating costs which often occurs, and sometimes greatly occurs, the commercial office space landlord would be losing quite a bit of money and not netting any return on their leasing arrangement. Rent escalation clauses in leases ensure
that the arrangement is fair in the way of money received and that the landlord will see some return in the commercial landlord-tenant relationship.
As a prospective commercial office space tenant, always be sure to look at rent escalation clauses in the lease and consider the presence of such when determining if the lease will benefit you in the long run.