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Often the first time that I hear about a new lease is after the landlord has created the first draft of the lease.  At this point, the landlord assumes that the tenant has completed its site selection.  Tenants have more leverage during the negotiation of their letter of intent because it is not clear that the tenant has completed its site selection.  Most people agree in the letter of intent to the standard business terms, such as the commencement date, permitted use, monthly rent, term, square footage and renewal rights.  The letter of intent is a good place to negotiate legal or other terms that are important to you, such as the ability to assign or sublease your space, restoration obligations, audit rights, repair obligations, compliance with laws, obligations regarding environmental conditions and insurance issues.  If there are issues that are deal breakers for you, they should be addressed in the letter of intent so that you do not waste a lot of time with a site that ultimately will not work for you.

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