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  • Writer's pictureColin Dubel

What are the different types of Commercial Real Estate Lease Structures and what are the advantages

There are several different types of commercial real estate lease structures. Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of commercial real estate leases are:

  1. Gross Lease: In a gross lease, the tenant pays a flat amount of rent and the landlord is responsible for paying all operating expenses, including utilities, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. The advantage of a gross lease for the tenant is that it provides predictable expenses and reduces the risk of unexpected costs. The disadvantage is that the landlord may pass on higher operating expenses to the tenant by increasing the rent.

  2. Net Lease: In a net lease, the tenant pays a base rent and also pays a portion of the property's operating expenses, such as taxes, insurance, and maintenance. There are three types of net leases: single net lease (tenant pays property taxes), double net lease (tenant pays property taxes and insurance), and triple net lease (tenant pays property taxes, insurance, and maintenance). The advantage of a net lease for the landlord is that the tenant assumes more of the operating expenses, which reduces the landlord's risk. The disadvantage for the tenant is that it may be difficult to predict their total expenses.

  3. Percentage Lease: In a percentage lease, the tenant pays a base rent plus a percentage of their sales. The advantage of a percentage lease for the landlord is that they share in the tenant's success. The disadvantage for the tenant is that their rent may increase as their sales increase.

  4. Modified Gross Lease: A modified gross lease is a combination of a gross lease and a net lease. The tenant pays a flat amount of rent, but also pays a portion of the operating expenses. The advantage for the tenant is that it provides some predictability in expenses, while still allowing for some flexibility. The disadvantage is that the tenant may have to pay more if operating expenses increase.

  5. Ground Lease: In a ground lease, the tenant leases the land from the landlord and is responsible for building and maintaining the improvements on the property. The advantage for the tenant is that they can own the building without owning the land, which can be a significant cost savings. The disadvantage is that the tenant may have to pay for improvements that will revert to the landlord at the end of the lease term.

Each type of commercial real estate lease structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of lease structure depends on the needs of the landlord and tenant, the type of property, and the local market conditions. It is important for both parties to carefully consider the terms of the lease before signing.


If you have any questions about this article or would like to discuss a scenario of your own with our team, please feel free to contact Colin Dubel at colin@harborwestcommercial.com or 949-735-6415.

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