Create Your Free California Commercial Lease Agreement

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Free Commercial Lease Agreement

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Commercial Lease Agreement



Your Commercial Lease Agreement

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THIS LEASE (this "Lease") dated this ________ day of ________________, ________


______________________ of _________________________________
Telephone: ______________________  
(the "Landlord")


- AND -

______________________ of _________________________________
Telephone: ______________________
(the "Tenant")


IN CONSIDERATION OF the Landlord leasing certain premises to the Tenant, the Tenant leasing those premises from the Landlord and the mutual benefits and obligations set forth in this Lease, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, the Parties to this Lease (the "Parties") agree as follows:

The remainder of this document will be available when you have purchased a license.

Last updated February 6, 2023

Commercial Lease Agreements in California

Generally, commercial tenants in California do not have the same legal protections as residential tenants. Instead, business tenants have the freedom to negotiate the terms of their lease with their landlord. 

If a term is left out of the contract (e.g., requiring the landlord to perform scheduled building maintenance), the legal remedies available to the tenant may be limited. 

In other words, a commercial tenant’s rights are closely tied to their contract. As such, it’s crucial to document the terms of the tenancy with a Commercial Lease Agreement.

Use LawDepot’s template to outline each party’s rights and obligations. The template prompts you to include common business lease terms, but you can customize it by adding or deleting specific items. 

A Commercial Lease Agreement is also known as a/an:

  • Business Lease Agreement
  • Office Lease Agreement
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What should a Commercial Lease in California include?

Commercial properties serve a variety of purposes (e.g., warehouses, retail shops, restaurants, offices, etc.), so contracts vary to reflect these differences.

While most Residential Lease Agreements are fairly standard, a Commercial Lease is specific to the type of business that occurs on the property. 

California laws don’t extensively cover commercial tenants. So, these tenancies rely on the terms of their Lease Agreement.  That’s why it’s best practice for both parties to have a lawyer review a Commercial Lease Agreement to ensure it’s fair to everyone.

You can avoid potential disputes by including these standard clauses in your document:

1. Property details

Identify the address and, if desired, the legal description of the rental space. For instance, the tenant might be renting only a portion of a building.

Next, describe the ways in which the tenant may use the property. Consider any local zoning ordinances that may impact the types of businesses the landlord rents to.

You might also want to clarify if the landlord will refrain from leasing to direct competitors in the same building.

2. Party details

State the names and contact information of the parties involved (i.e., the landlord, tenant, and any guarantors).

3. Lease terms

Include the lease terms, such as the lease type, length, and its start/end date.

The landlord might also address whether or not the tenant can assign or sublease the property. If this term isn’t included, California law generally allows a tenant to sublet or assign their property. 

What’s more, some cities (like San Francisco) have ordinances that prevent a landlord from unreasonably denying a tenant’s request to add another occupant to the lease. This law may even override a lease term that prohibits subletting.

4. Type of rent

Provide rent details, including the amount, payment frequency, and whether it will be a gross lease, a net lease, or a triple-net lease. You can also specify whether rent depends on square footage or pay period.

It’s also important to note that any terms on the frequency or amount of rent increases should be included in the Lease Agreement. This is because California’s laws on rent caps don’t apply to commercial properties. So, unless the parties agree otherwise, commercial landlords are typically free to increase the rent as they see fit. 

5. Security deposit and other expenses

If the landlord requires a security deposit, they should specify its amount and how many days they have to return it to the tenant. The California Civil Code requires a return no later than 30 days after the tenant moves out.

The code also specifies the lawful deductions a landlord can make (e.g. outstanding rent payments, repairs, cleaning, etc.) and who has priority when claiming this money from the landlord. Beyond that, you should check whether any local ordinances affect the deposit as well. 

In addition, be sure to outline the responsibility for utilities and insurance

6. Final details

Consider who’s responsible for making improvements or upgrades to the property. 

Are there any other unique terms that might apply to the contract—like requiring an inspection or offering a signing bonus?

Should I notarize my Commercial Lease in California?

California law doesn’t require notarization to have a valid Commercial Lease Agreement. However, doing so helps:

  • Reinforce the identities of the landlord and the tenant
  • Provide evidence of their intention to enter into the contract

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