"As a commercial real estate developer and attorney, I have negotiated well over 500 shopping center leases. Stu's understanding of the business and legal aspects of shopping center transactions enabled his client to ask the right questions, to obtain the items the client needed to run a profitable business and to negotiate a lease fair to both parties -- the hallmarks of a successful transaction."
Jeffrey Oliphant, Esq., JLO Washington Enterprises, Inc., shopping center developer and operator, and co-author of "The Shopping Center Game"

Rated "Superb"
by AVVO.com


  • negotiate or draft better commercial leases
  • ask the important questions
  • identify and minimize unavoidable risks
  • catch important details that might otherwise be missed
  • add significant provisions that are missing
  • mitigate lease-based economic ups and downs
  • save money
  • protect their businesses


Want to structure your lease to speed your opening and avoid conflict with your landlord? Make sure the lease clearly describes the space you are renting. Attaching a drawing with dimensions is an excellent way to do this. This or another drawing should show the location of the space within the building and development that contains it; the parking areas available for the exclusive or non-exclusive use of your customers, venders, and employees; and any other areas of importance (e.g. storage areas, trash and recycle container locations, loading docks, and the like). If you can, get the landlord to pre-approve and then attach additional drawings showing the signs you plan to use, and tenant improvements that are to be made to the leased space. A legal description of the premises or the building in which it is located is also important, as the lease may be unenforceable without it. In addition, clarify which areas are included in your premises for your use and for rent calculation purposes, such as hallways, bathrooms, and mechanical areas, and which areas are A common areas@ for use by all tenants. Putting all of this in your lease can greatly reduce the chances of future conflicts and misunderstandings between you and your landlord. It will also help you better estimate and budget for your start-up expenses.

"Leasing Legal Services with An In-House Perspective"

With over 35 years of experience Stu Heller helps his clients make smarter business and leasing deals. His website is at www.theleasinglawyer.com and his office is located at 11400 SE 8th Street, Suite 260, Bellevue, Washington 98004. He can be reached at 206-623-0579, fax 206-682-7972, heller@theleasinglawyer.com and hellerlaw@aol.com. Contact him for a free initial consultation. Be sure to consult your lawyer before applying any of the above to a particular situation.