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The The significance of the Offer to Lease (letter of intent) would appear to be largely misconstrued by all too many prospective commercial tenants (whether it is for office, retail, industrial or warehouse space). For whereas the unsigned document is merely an offer, once it is signed, it becomes a binding legal document from which the landlord has no obligation to change or alter. As such, before you sign any offer letter (or for that matter any documentation pertaining to an office lease), it is incredibly important that you fully understand everything set forth therein (in addition to what the document fails to say or how it is phrased).

It is for that very reason that it strongly recommended that you engage the legal services of an experienced leasing lawyer at the very outset of your pursuit of lease space. For leasing documents are carefully crafted to protect and advance the interests of the landlord, to your business' detriment. And given that landlords are well versed in the technical language of leasing, which for most corporate officers is highly infrequent, it is very easy for a business owner to succumb to an overly disadvantageous office lease arrangement.

One simply needs to review a typical offer to lease to perceive the legally binding nature of this particular legal document, such as the following: "The parties shall execute a formal lease, prepared on the basis of the Landlord's standard lease form, subject to the incorporation of the provisions contained in this agreement to lease and such reasonable modifications and alterations of a non-financial nature as are agreed to by the parties and their respective solicitors." As you can see, there is very little flexibility and no basis for the inclusion of oral discussions and arrangements / concessions that the parties merely talked about.

That is why at Neufeld Legal P.C. we strive to get to prospective business tenants before they have made any legal commitments with respect to their commercial leasing arrangements. We believe in the negotiation of appropriate terms and conditions for a newly leased space, which is intended to enable both the landlord and the tenant to effectively co-exist and prosper from the commercial tenancy.

* As with all our blogs, they are provided exclusively for informational purposes so as to initiate consideration and discussion of the points raised therein, however, due to the specificity of these legal matters and the particularities of each situation, it is always recommended that you retain the counsel of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer.

Christopher R. Neufeld

Neufeld Legal Professional Corporation

1600, 144 - 4th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta



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