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How Much Can a Landlord Raise Commercial Rent in California?

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Inflation has everyone feeling squeezed. While you may be pinching pennies to stay solvent, a California landlord could be looking to maximize their profits and capitalize on the tight commercial property market. Often, tenants in California face sticker shock when commercial landlords raise the rent. Unfortunately, rent control laws and ordinances that prevent landlords from significantly raising residential rent rates may not apply to commercial tenants.

Are you renting a commercial building and struggling to stay afloat because of the high cost of rent? At Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP, we want to empower you by helping you understand how much a landlord can raise commercial rent in California.

How Much Can a Commercial Landlord Raise Rent in California?

Commercial rent increases are generally evaluated differently than residential rent increases. California’s Tenant Protection Act limits how much landlords can raise the rent on specific properties. However, rent control ordinances do not protect commercial properties, giving commercial landlords the freedom to raise rental prices on their own terms.

Your commercial property contract typically spells out the terms of your lease. Most contracts have language in them that stipulates the rent escalation provisions during the lease term and upon lease renewal. A commercial landlord can increase rent as they see fit, as long as those rent increases during your tenancy are spelled out in the terms of your lease.

How Can a Commercial Real Estate Lawyer Help?

Do you currently have a contract with a commercial property owner in California? Remember, a contract is a legally binding agreement between two parties. There is little an attorney can do to help you lower your rent if the commercial property owner holds a valid rental agreement. In some situations, you may attempt to break your contract but be aware that you may face penalties as outlined in your rental agreement with the commercial rental company.

What can an experienced commercial real estate attorney do to help you avoid the high cost of commercial rent? Consult a skilled California real estate lawyer before entering a legal agreement with a landlord. At Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP, we can review the rental agreement and negotiate the terms of your lease with the landlord to help you avoid potentially predatory rental practices. Commercial leases can be complicated. An attorney can review the primary factors that impact rental costs, such as square footage, amenities, and how you’ll use the commercial space.

Commercial lease agreements also include stipulations covering additional expenses such as maintenance costs, property insurance, taxes, and utilities. Are these costs covered by you, the tenant, or the commercial property landlord? An attorney can help you understand what costs are your responsibility and what falls on the landlord’s shoulders.

Want to avoid surprise increases and fees? Again, an attorney can be instrumental in helping craft a lease agreement that identifies the expectations of each party. You should know the exact cost of your monthly rent and when your specifically outlined rent increases take effect. A legally binding agreement should never leave room for confusion or misinterpretation. Before you sign your subsequent commercial lease agreement, discuss your situation with a knowledgeable California commercial real estate lawyer.

Contact Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP, to Negotiate Your Commercial Lease Agreement

Are you feeling pinched by inflation and the high cost of commercial rent? Do not sign a commercial lease with a landlord without consulting an experienced commercial real estate attorney. An attorney with Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP, can help protect you and your business by reviewing the lease terms and negotiating fair terms on your behalf. Arrange a consultation with our legal team today.

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