DuPage County commercial real estate lawyer for landlords and tenantsWhether you are the owner of a commercial real estate property, or you are looking to rent a space for your business, reaching an agreement on a commercial lease is a crucial part of your operation. There are a variety of lease structures available depending on the property's use and the preferences of both the landlord and tenant. The complexities of these different kinds of commercial leases can be challenging to interpret, but an experienced real estate attorney can help you determine the best options and negotiate a lease that addresses your needs.

Types of Commercial Leases in Illinois

Commercial leases vary based on the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of both the landlord and the tenant. Some of the most common types of commercial leases include:

  • Gross lease: In a gross or full service lease, the tenant pays rent while the landlord handles all expenses related to the property, including property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Rents are typically higher with a gross lease, but the tenant benefits from the convenience of the services the landlord provides.
  • Triple net lease: In a triple net lease, the tenant pays rent and also takes responsibility for the three net costs associated with a commercial property, which are insurance, property taxes, and common area maintenance. This arrangement removes work and some expenses from the property owner, but it usually also means that rent is lower.
  • Master lease: A master lease allows the tenant to sublease the property and collect income from rent. As a tenant, you might attempt to negotiate for a master lease if you are considering purchasing the property outright in the future.
  • Ground lease: A ground lease allows the tenant to rent and develop a plot of land, and it is commonly used for franchise businesses. Tenants are able to save money up-front because they do not have to purchase the property, and landlords are able to receive rental income throughout the term of the lease.
  • Sale-leaseback: A commercial property owner may arrange to sell the property and then lease it from the buyer. This can be a good option for owners who need an immediate source of income but wish to continue using a property for business purposes.

Contact a DuPage County Commercial Lease Attorney

At Lindell & Tessitore, P.C., we have worked with owners and tenants on all manner of commercial leases throughout our years of real estate law experience. We can help you understand the various lease options and make sure they are executed properly in your lease agreement. Contact a Naperville commercial real estate lawyer today at 630-778-3818.

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Naperville business contracts lawyer for force majeureA construction project often involves many moving pieces, including supplies, equipment, various contractors and their employees, negotiations with the city over zoning regulations, and more. Even under normal circumstances, it can be challenging to ensure that you are upholding all of the details of your construction contract, and it may be impossible during an unprecedented event like the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time like this, it is important to review your contracts to determine whether they include a force majeure clause that can provide relief.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Affects Construction Projects

COVID-19 and its effects may make it difficult or impossible to fulfill your obligations as a construction contractor for several possible reasons, including:

  • Supply shortages: The pandemic may have interrupted the production or distribution of building and construction materials that are necessary to complete a project.
  • Project delays: Stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders in the first few months of the pandemic may have delayed the start of a construction project.
  • Self-isolation of employees: Employees isolating or quarantining for their own safety or because they have tested positive for the virus may lead to labor shortages that slow the progress of a project.
  • Social distancing precautions: In order to maintain safe social distancing at worksites,  you may need to make adjustments to complete your project with smaller work crews.
  • Cash flow issues: The economic impact of COVID-19 may have led to the cancellation of some projects or difficulty in acquiring new ones. Resulting losses in income may make it harder to complete current projects.

Pursuing Relief Through a Force Majeure Clause

If you are struggling with any of these issues, you may be able to seek relief from your contractual obligations if your contract includes a force majeure clause, which can account for the possibility of unpredictable and uncontrollable acts of nature or people. The COVID-19 pandemic may qualify as one of these acts, but it can depend on the language in your contract. For example, you may be more likely to obtain relief if the contract specifically lists pandemics in the force majeure clause. You will also likely need to demonstrate that your inability to fulfill the contract is specifically due to the pandemic. Depending on the language in your contract, you may be able to receive an extension on the project, additional compensation for increased expenses, or total release from your contractual obligations.

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DuPage County Real Estate attorney for zoning lawsIn the business of commercial real estate, it can often be beneficial to purchase a property that has already been developed, rather than starting a new development project from scratch. Perhaps a developed property is located in the perfect place for your purposes, and you may even find that you can adapt existing structures to your needs. However, chances are that you will need to make some changes, either through a renovation or a complete redevelopment, and if so, you should be aware of zoning regulations that may impact your project.

Zoning Regulations in an Illinois Commercial Real Estate Renovation

You may find that you can adapt a new property to meet your needs by renovating structures that have already been built. A renovation may help you save time that you would need to spend on demolition, construction, and rezoning, but in most cases, you will still need to pay attention to zoning regulations in the local municipality that affect the development. For example, you may need to ensure that your renovation complies with local health, safety, and energy efficiency standards. You will also likely need to ensure that the property is authorized for use as the kind of business that will be operated there.

Planning for Zoning Regulations in Your Redevelopment

Unlike a renovation, a redevelopment often requires you to demolish existing structures and initiate a new construction project. Because you are planning to implement more drastic changes, you may be more likely to encounter zoning challenges. You will need to look into the zoning regulations at the time the property was originally developed, as well as any changes in the subsequent years.

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Illinois CRE lawyersDue diligence is a critical step in the acquisition of a property, especially for those dealing in commercial real estate. Done effectively, the process can protect you from lengthy project delays, zoning issues, and other negative consequences. In contrast, failures in your due diligence process may lead to extreme financial loss and an overall poor return on investment. Learn how to avoid mistakes and oversights in your due diligence with these crucial facts.

You Need to Spend Time at the Property 

Far too often, investors rely on the “experts” to handle the due diligence process. They hire an inspector but do not attend the inspection, contact someone to value the property but are not present during the valuation process, and rely on reports to tell them whether the building is up to code. Sadly, this is a massive mistake.

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Naperville commercial real estate attorneysSavvy investors know the best protection against extreme financial loss is a diverse investment portfolio. Yet, many overlook the commercial real estate (CRE) sector. Perhaps it is because they fear the large, upfront investment, big risk, and long-term return on their investment. More likely, however, an investor may hesitate or even avoid the CRE market because they do not fully understand the benefits or the necessary steps for breaking in to this type of market.

Why Commercial Real Estate?

The first issue to address is the “why” behind commercial real estate. Certainly, there are other types of investments with lower risks. Yet, it is the high risk and large investment amount that make CRE properties so appealing. They offer a steady and stable return. Real estate is also considered a tangible asset, which investors can use as collateral on other investments.

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DuPage County Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association

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1755 Park Street, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563
Phone: 630-778-3818
700 Commerce Drive, Suite 500
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Phone: 630-288-2555
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From our offices in Naperville and Oak Brook, Lindell & Tessitore P.C. represents clients throughout Illinois including the areas of Plainfield, Oswego, Aurora, Lisle, Winfield, Wheaton, St. Charles, Geneva, Oakbrook Terrace, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Burr Ridge, Batavia, Yorkville, Downers Grove, Warrenville, Woodridge, Lemont, Romeoville, Joliet, Bolingbrook, Mokena, New Lenox, Frankfort, Channahon, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, Kendall County, Kane County, Cook County, and the greater Chicagoland area.