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In most cases, the tenant has more leverage in the lease negotiating process after the letter of intent is fully negotiated.
Generally, LOI’s are negotiated between attorneys and owners.
When advocating for a tenant, you would prefer to keep the LOI and whatever definitions found within it as narrow as possible.
As a tenant advocate, it is imperative to create exit strategies from the lease for clients in the initial draft of the letter of intent.
As a tenant advocate, where the lease commencement date is tied to landlord’s substantial completion of landlord’s work, at a bare minimum within the letter of intent, the “substantial completion” definition should provide that it shall be deemed to have occurred when landlord’s work has been completed except for minor items which (1) shall not cause interference with tenant’s business operations or the use of the premises and (2) can be completed or remedied by the landlord’s contractor within a reasonable period of time thereafter not to exceed thirty (30) days.
If the premises are being delivered to a tenant in “as-is” condition, landlord advocates should attempt to have the lease commencement date be the date that a fully executed lease is delivered to tenant or its attorney.