I’m about to open a restaurant and will do some renovations before opening. In a standard restaurant lease, what is a typical permit contingency clause? If I’m unable to get permits to do the necessary renovations, what kind of notice would I need to give in order to get out of the lease? I am working with a well regarded Boston restaurant architect and he has great ideas, just not sure the permits will get approved.
Most commercial leases provide for a build out period prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Prior to any work being done on the premises, permits have to be obtained. Any commercial lease that involves changes, improvements or renovations to a space needs to be contingent upon the tenant obtaining approvals. Most leases also have plans attached showing the space as it will be once work is complete. This protects the both parties since both lessee and lessor have agreed to the proposed work. As attorney for either the landlord or the tenant I would not allow any work to start without all required permits in hand. If the proposed work requires zoning board approval, the lease needs to not only spell that out, but require that the landlord cooperate with the process. Tenant typically is responsible for all costs of the zoning board process.
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