The Times They Are A-Changin’

With a nod to Bob Dylan, your office space needs to be changin’ too, along with the times. As your industry adapts to unexpected developments, your business must meet those developments to remain competitive, and the ability to alter or modify your space to respond to the latest changes may become paramount.

A commercial real estate lease needs to include a comprehensive clause on alterations and modifications to your office space. If your alterations are neutral or improve the value, image or functionality of your office space, the landlord should allow them without requiring you to remove or restore the space to its previous condition when you leave.

The alteration clause should also specify that the landlord may only refuse alterations prior to the start of construction and that a refusal may only be based on the impact the alterations may have on re-letting the space.  At the end of your lease, the landlord may demand costly restorations, as opposed to early in the term, when they still want to keep you happy.

Another possible point of contention involves the selection of contractors to execute your alterations. Landlords can reasonably request contractors to be insured and experienced as well as posting a bond to guard against any costly damage.

All these considerations should be incorporated into an alteration and modification clause to protect your rights and ensure enjoyment of your office space for years to come.