There is no standard business lease, although many ‘boiler plate’ leases exist and are often used by landlords. Meyers & Flowers recommend that any commercial lease be reviewed by an Chicago real estate attorney to disclose anything that could be detrimental going forward.
Commercial leases are confusing to many people. There are two main types of lease; gross leases and net leases. A gross lease is similar to leasing an apartment. There is a monthly rental amount that stays constant through the term of the lease with a proportion of utilities being the only variable.
Net leases are based on the square footage of the space and include a portion of the operating expenses of the building. There will be a provision requiring payment for the use of common areas like the bathrooms, the lobby, elevators and parking. Another difference between net and gross leases is the way in which square footage is calculated. Landlords are legally permitted to measure the square footage of the space from interior walls and can include common areas like bathrooms and elevators. This may represent a significant portion of the square footage a business needs to carry out its operations.