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    5 Replies Latest reply on Sep 16, 2008 10:36 PM by Troikia

    Problems with potential landlord

    HPowner Newbie
      I am looking to start my business in the next 3 1/2 weeks. My loan is approved contingent on getting a particular commercial space for lease. The problem is:
      The owner has been telling me for weeks that someone else is looking at it. Then she said she didn't think they were going to work out. Now she's telling me that the other candidate is willing to sign a 5 year lease on a franchise business she has yet to purchase. The landlord says she'd be more likely to rent to a person who will sign a five year lease that hasn't even got all their ducks in a row while I'm sitting here dangling a check in her face for rent right now. (Forgot to mention the other person won't be able to move into the spot for 2 more months but the person is supposedly willing to pay 2 months rent to hold the space until then.)
      Is the owner of the space playing one against the other or just trying to sucker me. Or is she just a cruddy landlord? Any suggestions? Oh- and originally she told me it was a one year lease. The space is 2000 sq. ft. and $1000 per month. It's the only one in my price range in my area. The landlord also has an adjoining space that is twice the sq. footage which she has tried to convince me to rent but absolutley will not work for me. I really feel like she's dragging me along to see if she can get more money. How do I handle this situation. I need to have a signed lease agreement within 3 days by the time I close on my loan. Help- need an outside perspective. TIA
        • Re: Problems with potential landlord
          Lighthouse24 Ranger
          It sounds very frustrating. Just on the basis of what you written, I'd make a clear final offer -- "we must sign this today on these terms, or I'll need to find another option." If she doesn't want to do that, walk away.

          The landlord is, to a large degree, just being a good landlord -- she knows your situation and knows the market, and is trying to get as much from her property as possible. So you have to be a good business owner and stick to your bottom line price and terms. If you can't get the deal you want or can't finalize the agreement now, you may have to consider other options, change your loan closing date, and even pay some related fees -- but all that would probably cost you less in the long run than you'd end up paying if you drag out this lease negotiation any further.

          Also, keep in mind that you'll likely deal with this landlord on other issues down the road, so you need to go in to the relationship having earned at least a little respect. It's okay if she "wins" -- but only if you get what you need to get, which is commerical space now at the price and terms you've planned for. Good luck!
          • Re: Problems with potential landlord
            DomainDiva Ranger
            I beg to disagree (just a smidge) with Lighthouse. I have seen this tactic in the aircraft leasing/trading/pruchasing business. It's a ploy to get more money and a longer lease. If you have an attorney you may want to give a professional leverage to negotiate for you.

            The landlord has spotted some weakness in you and is exploiting it....I would bet its the fact that your loan is based upon this space.
            • Re: Problems with potential landlord
              workingwoman Newbie

              Your landlord is trying to get you to sign a longer lease at a higher dollar amount. I am a landlord and before you do anything, have a attorney look over the deal. I made the mistake of not doing this with my tenant and it is going to cost me for a while. So protect yourself. Find you a good attorney and let her know you are having your attorney look over the deal. And believe me with the way the market is right now. You can find another landlord who is willing to work with you in your price range. So dont give up. Just start looking around. Maybe this isnt the spot for you, maybe there is something out there better and less in rent.
              • Re: Problems with potential landlord
                Troikia Wayfarer
                I have to agree with some of the posts above and say yes the agent is trying to get more out of you. However, it seems like you really like the place and the space and the rent work for you. If she is willing to keep the rent at $1000/per month for the next five years I dont think its a bad situation, that is, is you intend to stay in that business for that long. But if its not working in your favor, do walk away.

                I have a lease in a plaza and another small space opened up two doors down and called the leasing agent three to four times about it as i was interested in opening a different business there and yet I dint get any response. Finally, she said the place was sort of taken and big clients were interested in it. Three months later the place is still empty and in addition another space opened up two months ago and is also empty.

                Please let us know what happens finally. I am sure many of us will be in a similar situation at some point and could learn from your experience.

                Thanks and Best of Luck