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Help Guide

Use this help guide for information about how to create a commercial lease amendment.

Fixed-Term vs. Periodic Tenancy

When selecting the term of your agreement, you will have to choose between a fixed-term and a periodic tenancy. A fixed-term tenancy is simply a tenancy agreement that states that it will end on a specific date in the future, usually about six months or a year from the start of the tenancy. A periodic tenancy has no set end day and usually continues from month to month until one of the parties chooses to terminate the tenancy.

Note that the technical difference between a lease agreement and a rental agreement is that a lease agreement creates a fixed-term tenancy while a rental agreement creates a periodic tenancy. Therefore, your amendment will have the corresponding title. It is alright if the original agreement is titled as a lease agreement when it is technically a rental agreement or vice versa. That will not affect the enforce-ability of your documents.

Amendments

Next, you will add each amendment you wish to make to the lease agreement. It is important that you clearly identify the language you are changing. For example, if you want to change the language under Section 7(b), then specify that subsection by the number, letter, and/or section title.

Also, be clear in describing the changes you wish to make. For example, you might write, “The last sentence of Section 7(b) is amended to read…”

Additional Terms

Add any additional language you want to include in the lease agreement. Enter these new terms exactly as you would want them to read in the original lease. You can also specify here any additional documents you want as attachments to the lease such as exhibits, addendums, or inspection checklists.

Executing Your Amendment

Make the amendment legally enforceable by having each party sign and date at the end of the document. If you are using a notary, then do not sign the document until you are in front of the notary. Give a copy of the signed agreement to each party and save yours for safekeeping.

Ready To Get Started? Create a Commercial Lease Amendment


Frequently Asked Questions

Can commercial lease agreements be changed after they are signed?

Generally, yes. Most commercial leases will include a specific provision on how the lease can be amended. In fact, if you are creating your own commercial lease, it is a good idea to include this provision. Chances are that something will come up that you did not think would be an issue or that simply slipped your mind. You want to be able to change the commercial lease in these situations.

It is a good idea to specifically state that amendments must be in writing so the tenant (or landlord) cannot twist the agreement down the road. That way, you are both clear on what the change to the lease is in case it comes up again in the future. The easiest way to ensure that you are both on the same page is to set your understanding out in writing through a commercial lease amendment.

What are the basic requirements of a commercial lease agreement?

A commercial lease agreement must include specific information to be considered valid under state law. While every state is slightly different, a commercial lease will generally include the following information:

  • The name and contact information of the parties involved
  • The address of the property being rented
  • A description of the property
  • The term of the tenancy (length of time)
  • Renewal information
  • Responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord
  • The type of business that can be conducted in that particular location
  • The amount of rent and how rent must be paid
  • Provisions regarding deposits
  • Requirements regarding maintenance, upkeep, and allowable changes to the property
  • Ownership of improvement to the property

Although these terms are generally included in a commercial lease agreement, they are not technically required. A commercial lease is very flexible, and the parties can include as much or as little as they would like. However, the more detail that this document has, the more likely it will be useful if a dispute arises.

A commercial lease must be in writing. As a general rule, oral agreements will not be enforced if they last more than one year. It is also much easier to have a written document that both parties can reference if there is a question about the terms or whether a certain obligation was violated.

Commercial lease amendments should also be in writing to avoid "he said, she said" disputes. In fact, many lease agreements will require that changes to the agreement be in writing to be enforceable.

Ready To Get Started? Create a Commercial Lease Amendment

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Checklist

Step 1: Gather Information

As you complete your commercial lease amendment, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Landlord name and address
  • Tenant name and address
  • Effective date of the original lease agreement
  • Whether the original agreement was a fixed-term or periodic (e.g. month-to-month) tenancy
  • Occupancy start date
  • Occupancy end date (if fixed term)
  • The section numbers and/or titles that will be changed
  • The textual changes and additions you wish to make

Step 2: Answer Key Questions

Next, use the information you collected to complete our questionnaire. We provide instructions and helpful tips at each step of the way to help ensure your amendment will suit your needs. You may notice that the questions asked change depending on how you answer them and the state selected.

Step 3: Review and Sign

After completing the questionnaire, read through your amendment to make sure it is free of errors and will meet you needs. You can download the agreement in .docx format and open it in Microsoft Word or Google Docs if you need to make your own custom edits.

Once the amendment is satisfactory, have each party sign and date where indicated. While having a notary witness the signing is not required, it is never a bad idea to use one. You can also use electronic signatures and email if you want to avoid needing to print the document.

Step 4: Distribute and Store Copies

Provide a copy to each party that signed the amendment. Store your copy in a secure location and make a digital backup if possible.

Step 5: Periodically Review and Update

Periodically review your lease agreement and lease amendment so that you stay aware of each party’s responsibilities and can make additional amendments as needed.

Step 6: Complete Related Documents

In the event that the tenant wishes to sublease the space, a commercial sublease agreement is vital for protecting the interests of everyone involved. Tenants must be sure to discuss the requirements and receive permissions for any subtenancy ahead of time.

Ready To Get Started? Create a Commercial Lease Amendment