Triple Net Lease Form- Why Would You Sign One?

A “net” is an expense related to the lease. A “triple net” lease will refer to the three “nets” of commercial real estate leasing- real estate taxes, property insurance, and common area maintenance, or CAM (sometimes referred to as OpEx, or operating expenses). The triple net lease form is not a completely hands-off experience for Landlord, and it’s not owning the property in all but name for Tenant, either. Both parties must negotiate the triple net lease form carefully to set expectations, and downloading and signing a triple net lease form that isn’t tailored to your situation can create disastrous results.

Attraction of a Triple Net Lease Form

The triple net lease form (or NNN lease form) is attractive to Landlord- it’s guaranteed rental income while Tenant pays the NNN expenses.  It’s attractive to Tenant, too- a long-term lease, lower rent and flexibility with the building, since there’s no capital investment to purchase the land.

It Can Get a Little Tricky

A triple net lease is easier if there is a single tenant occupying an entire building.  If Landlord has multiple tenants and shared facilities or common areas, then the accounting and applicability gets more involved.  Tenant should contribute Tenant’s Proportionate Share of the NNN expenses to Landlord, and Landlord is responsible for using that money to make the payments for the insurance, tax, and operating expenses. Tenant’s Proportionate Share is based on how much space is occupied in relation to the property as a whole.

When you’re negotiating your triple net lease form (or, rather, you’re working with your professional team to protect your interests and mitigate your risk), focus on these three triple net expenses and how each party will approach them in negotiations:

Insurance

Tenant pays for all or a portion of the insurance cost on Landlord’s property. Negotiate this section carefully:

  • Coverage should be adequate
  • Insurance company should be properly qualified, not just the lease expensive
  • Make sure Landlord is informed of coverage changes/lapses
  • Tenant should have to report/file a claim with a claimworthy event occurs

If Tenant doesn’t meet the insurance requirements, Landlord can default Tenant under the lease, but meanwhile, and pursue remedies that way, but meanwhile, there’s damage and no money to fix it. Also, if Tenant violates the insurance (like arson), then there’s no coverage, even if Landlord is listed as additional insured.

CAM/OpEx

This section should be highly negotiated in your triple net lease form, especially if this is a multi-tenant location.  Be very specific about what expenses are included, and excluded, from CAM or OpEx. Negotiation tip: watch for capital expenditures, insurance charges as part of CAM if already paid as a separate charge, and maintenance contract requirements.

Landlord should be very clear on the maintenance requirements and quality of work that Tenant is responsible during the Lease term.

Taxes

Who can protest the tax bill?  If no one protests it, and taxes increase more than those of comparable properties, Tenant is stuck with a higher bill, and Landlord may have difficulty finding a new tenant at the end of the lease term.

A triple net lease form involves a lot of negotiation and understanding the long-term consequence of those negotiations. Getting a form online won’t provided the customized solution necessary in this complex Landlord-Tenant relationship.  It’s important to have an experienced team in place to guide you through the process of negotiating a triple net lease form.


Disclaimer:

This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. This article is for general education purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult with a qualified attorney before you rely on this information.

About Jenna Zebrowski

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