For most landlords when negotiating a lease with a tenant the procedure is routine. A broker calls with a potential tenant, the landlord does some due diligence and sends over its fine-tuned landlord/attorney-drafted lease, the parties negotiate and the lease is signed with some modest modifications. When a national retail or service company comes calling, the rules of the game can change. A national tenant brings with it instant name recognition and the prospect of increased foot traffic for the landlord's other tenants. Many landlords may find themselves willing to do whatever it takes to sign a lease with this national tenant, even one who essentially wants to play by its own rules. Unfortunately, along with these potential benefits, a national tenant also brings with it a tenant-drafted and tenant-slanted lease. If the decision is made to work with the national tenant's lease, careful reading and creativity are required. Although it is unlikely that landlords will be able to completely re-work a national tenant's lease to the point where it is pro-landlord, keeping key negotiating provisions in mind should help landlords minimize the risks inherent in reaping the benefits of leasing to a national tenant.
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