SAN FRANCISCO—There are several provisions landlords should insist upon when renegotiating leases. But there are also several common pitfalls including failing to consider local ordinances and using form agreements to be wary of, says Quinn Arntsen, partner with Farella Braun + Martel LLP in San Francisco. How typical is it for long-term tenants, particularly in buildings not owned by large landlords, to use form leases (the California Association of Realtors or AIR CRE forms) where the contract language is boilerplate and the parties only negotiate a limited number of business terms, such as rent, security, deposit, term, etc.?

Arntsen: This depends on the property type. For industrial or warehouse leasing, it is common to see the parties use an industry-form lease, such as the AIR CRE Single Tenant Net Lease. Those are typically triple-net leases where most of the risk is allocated to the tenant. For office or retail leasing, larger landlords almost always have their own internal documents and smaller landlords are split. Office and retail leases are less suited for the industry-form documents because there are usually more property-specific deal terms that are inconsistent with the form.

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown is an editor for the south and west regions of She has 25-plus years of real estate experience, with a regional PR role at Grubb & Ellis and a national communications position at MMI. Brown also spent 10 years as executive director at NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter, where she led the organization to achieving its first national award honors and recognition on Capitol Hill. She has written extensively on commercial real estate topics and edited numerous pieces on the subject.