X (or cross-hatch)

Hello landlords and tenants. I’m going to discuss “X or crosshatch” in a commercial real estate lease and why it matters. My name is Jenna Zebrowski and I’m the attorney behind LawByJZ.com. The location of the leased premises should be indicated on the site map. It’s important to know where the premises is in relation to the rest of the land.  There might be other things to know about, like a no-build zone or the location of other tenants.

I don’t care what it is, it should be indicated and labeled. Don’t use color! One black and white copy later, and who knows what you’re looking at.  Or you could run into an accessibility issue if someone doesn’t see color very well.  It’s really hard to miss the lines on a page and it doesn’t matter what color they’re in so go ahead and take print out that page draw a few lines through it make a little map legend in the corner and protect your rights so that you know, what is being referred to and x does mark the spot in your crosshatch.

Commercial Real Estate Case Study

X Marks the Spot: Cross Hatch

Jason leased suite 201 for his growing business and was really excited to get started preparing it for his employees and customers.  It was a newly constructed shopping center, so the suites weren’t officially numbered yet. Jason brought in his attorney early; it was very important that he have a certain location within the shopping center, but he wasn’t sure how to identify it since the numbering hadn’t been approved by the authorities yet.

Jason was really glad he had called his attorney to negotiate the lease and to define which space was his.  He was very surprised when he walked into the unlocked suite to get started planning where to put all the desks and chairs, when he found someone was already in the space, moving in furniture and painting walls!

The other tenant was just as surprised as Jason, and told Jason that he also had suite 201.  Location was important to his business as well. They looked all over the shopping center and they found one other suite that was almost the same, and that was clearly where one of them was supposed to be, but which one?

The lease had language that stated that the suite would be further depicted on an exhibit and cross-hatched to be identifiable. Jason and the other attorney ran to their leases.  Jason’s lease had the location of suite 201 cross-hatched, or marked with slanted lines, and it was clear that suite 201 was his.

The other tenant had used a color to outline the space in his location, and not cross-hatching. The landlord color-blind and had not realized that the tenant had outlined the space that Jason had already leased!  The landlord prepared suite 201 for Jason and the other suite for the other tenant.  Jason was really happy his attorney had made sure that the cross-hatching was clear and unambiguous and he was getting the suite he wanted. The other tenant and the landlord would have to work it out.

I'm Jenna Zebrowski, Commercial Real Estate Lease Lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer yet. If you need help in commercial real estate law, please feel free to reach out to 817-841-5762.