Landlords who lease commercial space typically concern themselves with the quality of a proposed tenant so that such character is consistent with that of other tenants occupying the property. Such concern is reflected in particular provisions found in a commercial lease. This post will discuss some of the more common tenant “character” provisions.
Signage is important to commercial tenants so that the store’s location is visible and identifiable to potential customers. Because landlords are concerned that certain signage may look physically unpleasing or be harmful to the reputation of the property, landlords typically specify signage requirements in the lease. The landlord will reserve the right to approve the signage sought to be used by the tenant and will usually not allow a sign that appears to be too large or has too much neon compared to other signs already used at the property. Of course, signs containing vulgar words will not be permitted. When negotiating your lease, your attorney should also negotiate an exhibit to the lease which will contain a drawing of exactly how your sign will look with specific dimensions referenced. That way, the parties will have already decided on the approved signage before the lease is signed.
Landlords also want to control store hours. Many leases have provisions to that effect. In a shopping mall environment, most leases will require stores to be open for the same number of hours. Such a provision benefits all tenants, as the mall is more likely to be a thriving place in which to do business if shoppers can visit more than one store. On the flip side, landlords may demand that a public storefront be closed after a certain hour so that visitors do not “hang out”, impairing the reputation of the property or creating too much noise, impacting neighbors of the property.