A prudent Tenant that wants to stay in business won’t object to customers coming in the door. There shouldn’t be a problem with employees or contractors entering the space, either. Unexpected entrants arriving, however, can disrupt the ordinary course of business. A good commercial real estate lease, negotiated properly, will provide security and certainty about who can enter the space and who is liable if something goes wrong. No surprise guests, no surprise legal liability or business inconvenience for Tenant!
Landlord Employee Entrance
A Landlord employee that is performing an inspection or a minor repair should be able to come in during normal business hours to complete their task. Negotiation tip: Request advance notification before a Landlord party or representative enters the space, so Tenant knows who should be in the space and can plan accordingly.
Most Landlords will want an exception for an emergency situation, which makes sense. If there is a burst pipe in the space after hours, then it’s more important for someone to go in there and shut it off then to track down Tenant for notice before entering the space.
Entrance Request: Notification vs. Notice
This isn’t a legal notice requirement (see the post on legal notice, it’s a good one!); it’s actually a notification requirement. The important part is that anyone entering the space that isn’t invited by or controlled by Tenant should not be there unless Tenant knows about it. Tenant can decide how they want to get the notification from Landlord- put it in the commercial real estate lease, and put it in writing.
The consequences of notification
Tenant’s business probably contains sensitive information, which shouldn’t be shared with non-employees. It could be social security numbers or bank account information for clients, home addresses and phone numbers, payment records or other personal information. Some items are protected by federal law, some should just be kept private. If Tenant is required to have advance notification under the commercial real estate lease that someone is entering the space, then it can make sure this sensitive information is stored away from prying eyes.
A Tenant representative isn’t always in the space, and Landlord representatives may enter after hours, like janitorial staff or maintenance workers performing a repair so Tenant isn’t disturbed in its business operations. It’s important for Tenant to know who is in the space when, and to have good practices to protect sensitive information.
Potential New Tenants
Landlord has the right to sell or mortgage the building, and it makes sense that a prudent potential investor would want to tour the space before committing. If Tenant is vacating the space at the end of the term, then it’s okay for potential new tenants to enter the space to look around. Negotiation tip: if the lease isn’t expiring, there is an option available, or there are good-faith negotiations to extend the commercial real estate lease, Landlord shouldn’t be showing the space to potential new tenants!
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.