What are the 3 types of Commercial Real Estate Leases?


Commercial real estate leases are complex documents, but they can be understood when you have some background about the terminology associated with them. The types of leases commonly used in commercial real estate is a good starting point, as understanding what each of them involves can help you determine which type will be the best fit for your business needs.

As always – your Commercial Real Estate Agent will advise you on your best options.

Gross Lease

Also known as a full-service lease, a gross lease includes all of the operating expenses for a property, such as the utilities, maintenance and property taxes.

The upside of these leases is that you are only responsible for paying for one cost.  On the downside, the base rent will be much higher with this type of lease.  Bear in mind landlords may try to add language to the lease that allows for increases in rent if certain events occur like a steep increase in property taxes or insurance premiums.

Net Lease

With a net lease, base rent is lower but costs are highly variable. There are three kinds of net leases that you need to be aware of:

– Single Net Lease. This type of lease requires you to pay a fixed rent and a portion of the property tax to your landlord and for utilities and services directly to providers. The landlord covers the costs of building expenses only.

– Double Net Lease. This type of lease is identical to a single net lease, except you are required to also pay a portion of the property taxes, leaving the landlord responsible only for the cost of maintaining common areas.

 – Triple Net Lease. With this type of lease, you are expected to pay for a portion of all of the costs associated with double net leases plus a portion of the costs of maintaining common areas. This is the most common types of commercial real estate leases.

Net leases tend to favor landlords more than tenants; however, with this type of lease, you have the ability to demand to review your landlord’s costs.

If your landlord receives a lower tax assessment and property taxes and insurance rates drop, the savings are passed along to you and other tenants. Keep in mind with this type of lease, costs are unpredictable.

Modified Gross Lease

Also known as a modified net lease, you are assessed a fixed base rent and then a portion of operating expense costs.  The main drawback to this type of lease is that negotiations will be lengthier and more complex.


Source:  Don Catalano- REOptimizer