Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Negotiating a Lease Deal

When it comes to negotiating deal terms of a commercial lease between landlord and tenant representatives, there are many techniques and strategies that can be employed. Which negotiation techniques can more effectively achieve a solution that meets the goals of all parties involved? There are three key elements that one should keep in mind:

  1. Attitude – There may be a time and a place for aggressive or obstinate behaviour, but it rarely works in a negotiation. The goal of the landlord or tenant representative is to assist in completing the deal that their client has already approved. After the lease is finalized, the parties will likely be in a relationship for the next 10 or 20 years. Poisoning that relationship at the outset by negotiating with a poor attitude is rarely helpful. The key is to be respectful, listen and not to attack the other party.
  2. Understanding – While it is clear that every representative needs to have an understanding of their client’s goals and objectives before commencing negotiation of the contract, it is also important to understand the other party’s goals and objectives. Sometimes it helps to ask the other side what the issue is. Better understanding of the concerns of both parties leads to a better agreement.
  3. Creativity – Creativity flows naturally from attitude and understanding. With a good attitude and understanding of the concerns of both parties, it makes the process more conducive for coming up with creative solutions to difficult issues.

In sum, remember to approach lease negotiations with a positive and deal-making attitude, understand the big-picture issues important to both sides without getting caught up with the little details, as well as be prepared to approach difficult issues in a creative manner.


This article highlights the main points that Peter Anderson and his co-presenters delivered during their session entitled ‘The Art of a Deal’ at the 2013 Vancouver Real Estate Leasing Conference. For more information regarding Boughton Law’s real estate legal services or commercial leasing topics, please contact Peter Anderson directly or visit our Real Estate Practice Area.


Tags: Article; Peter J. Anderson; Real Estate