Commercial retail tenants generally look forward to the holiday season. While there are a number of operational and retail issues that need to be addressed, commercial tenants also need to understand their rights and obligations under their commercial real estate lease.
Many retail leases provide that the stores in the center are to be open during the shopping center’s operating hours. During the holiday season, many shopping centers operate under extended hours to help accommodate shoppers’ schedules and hopefully drive more traffic to the center. Of course, does this mean that the retail tenants need to adhere to those hours? Generally speaking, if the retail tenant itself does not plan on being open, the tenant may be required to pay for the costs of the center’s operations while it would normally have been closed (security costs, cleaning crews, etc). This issue, however, may be resolved differently depending on the specific terms of the tenant’s commercial lease.
Another big area of contention during a holiday season in a retail center is parking. Many landlords require tenants to have their employees park off-site so as to keep the parking spaces within the retail center available for holiday shoppers. Employees inevitably do not like the added time parking off-site takes getting to and from work; and they especially do not like going to off-site parking lots late in the evening. Tenants need to recognize that while it may be a good business practice for the landlord to provide transportation to these off-site parking lots, the terms of the lease may not make it a requirement.
The tenant then needs to consider what its policies are relating to parking on- or off-site, its process to inform the employees of the landlord’s requirements, and if there are any safety concerns that it should take steps to mitigate against.
If you are a retail tenant, understanding the rights and obligations in your lease may assist you with having a successful and prosperous holiday season. If you need assistance understanding your commercial lease this holiday season, give the commercial real estate attorneys at The Loftin Firm a call today.