In the face of COVID-19, we are dealing with one of the most trying economic times in modern history. Even before the pandemic, the retail industry was struggling with retailers who went bankrupt for protection, announced store closings, or simply decided to throw in the towel and liquidate. Add to that an environment where developers would not (or could not) borrow money to fund new developments, as well as redevelopment projects and retailers that have cut back or eliminated their growth for the upcoming year.
It’s a complicated time, so this is where you, as a small business owner, can help protect the bottom line of your company. A diligent review of your lease-related billings may bring in additional savings. There is a chance that you are being charged for invisible costs that may not necessarily be valid based on the specific definitions in your lease.
Every lease is different, so you must take the time to read through and understand the specific conditions. If you need more information, NRTA offers a free glossary of real estate terms that can help cut through some of the confusing language. Once you’ve developed a good baseline, parse through the lease for any costs that may have crept into your billings. We have a series of blog posts to discuss the main fees that tend to pop up and some areas that might need a careful look. There is one on Common Area Maintenance (“CAM”), while the other discusses real estate taxes, insurance cost trickle, utilities, and shared services.
Each post walks through the specifics in greater detail, breaking down what you should look for when examining the lease. It helps make it easier for anyone, regardless of their comfort level with the subject, to truly understand every fee. Now more than ever is a crucial time to ensure that money isn’t slipping away from your small business.