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Getting out of a commercial lease

A business owner in Pennsylvania may eventually find that their current workplace no longer meets their needs. The reasons for this could include significant business growth, a need to downsize or other changes that make the current facility unsuitable. If the business is currently operating in a rented space and the lease is not about to terminate, the business owner may need to develop an exit strategy.

Business owners should first review their current lease to see if it includes a termination clause or the right to amend the lease at a later date. Knowing this can make future negotiations go more smoothly.

If there is no termination clause, the owner may wish to approach the landlord or property management company directly and ask about the possibility of early lease termination. In some cases, the landlord might be willing to break the lease, particularly if the commercial real estate market has improved and it's possible to get a higher rent from a new tenant.

In situations where the landlord is reluctant, a business owner could offer a compromise by suggesting that the lease be amended to reflect a shorter lease term. This may require the business owner to continue to remain in the space but not for the full lease term. Another option is for the business owner to offer to find a new tenant for the space.

While it is possible for a business tenant to simply move out, this could result in a lawsuit from the landlord. Since a suit and potential monetary judgment could have a negative impact on a business, breaking a lease this way should be an option of last resort. Speaking with a commercial real estate attorney might be a good idea for a business owner who must leave their current space.

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