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Commercial Lease Letter of Intent Fundamentals

The Commercial Lease Letter of Intent (LOI) outlines the basic terms of a lease agreement between a landlord and tenant before finalizing the contract. The LOI includes details like lease duration, rent, and property specifics, serving as a framework for negotiations. It is usually non-binding unless specified otherwise and helps prevent misunderstandings. The article also provides a sample LOI and emphasizes the importance of legal review.

letter of intent for commercial lease

What is a Commercial Lease Letter of Intent?

A commercial lease letter of intent is a document that outlines the basic terms of a commercial space lease. This document is typically used when negotiating a lease agreement to prevent misunderstandings between the tenant and landlord.

The lease letter of intent should include information such as the term of the lease, lease renewal, lease commencement date, escalations, the amount of rent, and any other important details pertinent to the lease.  

It is important to note that while both parties may agree to certain sections of an LOI such as rent or lease structure, the letter of intent is generally non-binding unless the language within specifies otherwise.

Rental Letter of Intent vs. Lease Letter of Intent

In the context of commercial leasing, a rental letter of intent and a lease letter of intent serve different purposes in the negotiation and drafting of a lease agreement.

A rental letter of intent is a preliminary document submitted by a tenant to a landlord, outlining the basic terms and conditions that the tenant intends to include in a lease agreement. The rental letter of intent is typically the starting point for negotiations between the parties, and serves as a framework for the eventual drafting and signing of a formal lease contract.

On the other hand, a lease letter of intent is a more detailed document that is typically prepared by a landlord and submitted to a prospective tenant after initial negotiations have taken place. The lease letter of intent includes more specific information about the proposed lease agreement, such as the size and location of the space, the proposed rental rate, the lease term, and any other special provisions or conditions.

Overall, while both rental letter of intent and lease letter of intent are important in the commercial leasing process, the former is usually submitted by the tenant as a starting point for negotiations, while the latter is prepared by the landlord and provides more detailed information about the proposed lease agreement.

When Should a Letter of Intent Be Written?

A letter of intent should be written when the tenant and landlord have agreed on the basic terms of the lease agreement. This document can prevent misunderstandings between the parties and should summarize the terms and conditions under which one would like to lease commercial property.

Before zeroing in on the terms you would like to put forth in the letter of intent, it is important to research the market and understand what rents, terms, tenant improvement, and escalations are common/customary.  This comparison should be done with similar properties in the respective market you are looking at.

Before any binding legal documents are produced or signed, an LOI should always be prepared. The letter of intent should be regarded as a tool for a smooth negotiation since the terms and conditions are often set forth within the letter of intent.

How long is a lease letter of intent valid?

A lease letter of intent is typically valid 30 days before the expiration date – unless otherwise stated. This gives the parties time to finalize the agreement details and sign the lease agreement.

If either party decides not to proceed with the commercial real estate lease agreement, they can notify the other party in writing, and the letter of intent will be void.

commercial lease letter of intent

How do I prepare for writing a lease letter of intent?

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when preparing to write a lease letter of intent.

First, you should ensure that you have all the relevant information about the property, such as the address, square footage, and any special features or amenities.

You will also need to know your ideal lease terms, which include the lease’s length, the rent amount, tenant improvement (TI), escalations, and any other provisions you may want to add that pertain to the lease.

Finally, you should professionally draft the letter of intent and have it reviewed by an attorney before signing.

How do you write a lease letter of intent for a commercial property?

Your letter of intent for a commercial lease should include an introduction to your business or company. Afterward, describe your need and how this certain property will serve that purpose well. Make sure also to include the following information:

  • Property address.
  • Tenant and landlord names.
  • Space size and suite number.
  • Lease term length and move-in date.
  • Rental rate, specifying if it includes utilities and janitorial services.

Who Actually Sends the Commerical Letter of Intent to Lease?

A letter of intent for commercial lease can be initiated by any parties who may be involved in the negotiations for a contract. This real estate lease letter of intent is not legally binding and could have different starting points. A commercial lease LOI can often be submitted in response to a request for proposal (RFP); here, an individual or organization has expressed interest in leasing or purchasing a certain kind of property, and this lease letter of intent could serve as a transition point to more robust talks.

Commercial Lease Letter of Intent Template

Here’s a free exaple of a sample letter of intent to lease commercial property:

Dear [Landlord],

We are interested in leasing the commercial property located at [address] for our business. Our company is [description of company], and we believe this property would be an ideal location for our business.

The terms of our lease agreement would be as follows:

– The lease would be for a period of [length of lease] years.

– The monthly rent would be [amount of rent].

If you are interested in leasing the property to us, please get in touch with us at [contact information]. We look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your title]

[Your company]

letter of intent to lease

Can a letter of intent be canceled?

A letter of intent simply outlines the intentions of two or more parties to do business together.  It is a non-binding agreement unless the language in the document specifies that the companies are legally bound to the terms.

Either party can cancel a letter of intent. If the tenant or prospective landlord decides not to proceed with the lease agreement, they can notify the other party in writing, and the letter of intent will be void.

What is the difference between a letter of intent and a lease agreement?

A letter of intent is not a legally binding agreement. It is simply a way to outline the agreement’s terms and ensure that both parties are on the same page. On the other hand, a lease is a legally binding contract that cannot be broken.

A letter of intent is typically used during the negotiation process, while a lease agreement is used once the negotiations are complete and both parties are ready to sign.

Benefits and Downsides of Letters of Intent

A few key benefits to using a letter of intent when negotiating a future lease agreement:

  • Allows both parties to outline the terms of the agreement and ensure they are on the same page. This can help to avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements down the road.
  • It can help to speed up the negotiation process. With a letter of intent in place, both parties can move forward with the negotiations and leasing terms, knowing they are working towards a common goal.
  • Protects both parties if the deal falls through. If either party decides not to proceed with the final lease agreement, they can notify the other party in writing, and the letter of intent will be void.

However, there are also downsides to using a letter of intent:

  • Important to note that a letter of intent is not a nonbinding document. This means either party can back out of the deal at any time without legal repercussions or recourse.
  • If a letter of intent is not drafted correctly, it may be construed as binding upon parties and can lead to unintended consequences or damages.  

Drawing up and presenting an intent to lease letter is fast and simple, excluding the need for a heavy money deposit. Additionally, this document can be shown to lenders or business associates to convey a proposed agreement.

If you’re considering using a letter of intent when negotiating your commercial lease agreement, carefully weigh the pros and cons.  Most importantly, consult a legal professional to help you decide whether a letter of intent is right for your particular situation.

About The Author

Jesse Shemesh

With a wealth of experience in nurturing diverse commercial real estate investment portfolios across multiple markets, I actively engage in the development and execution of deals spanning all asset classes. My expertise lies in collaborating with strategic partners, including corporate real estate professionals, fund managers, developers, and investors, to source, identify, and entitle opportunities. At Point Acquisitions, we take pride in our unique, proprietary platform that specializes in property acquisitions, generating a steady stream of organic deal flow that sets us apart from the competition. As a seasoned professional in the real estate industry, I am dedicated to creating lasting partnerships and delivering exceptional results for all stakeholders.

Disclaimer

Please note that Point Acquisitions is not a tax expert or tax advisor. The information on our blogs and pages is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, tax, or accounting advice. Any information provided does not constitute professional advice or create an attorney-client or any other professional relationship. We recommend that you consult with your tax advisor or seek professional advice before making any decisions based on the information provided on our blogs and pages. Point Acquisitions is not responsible for any actions taken based on the information provided on our blogs and pages.

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