What is the typical lease term for office space?

This is kind of a trick question. Unlike residential real estate where leases are typically for 1 year, lease terms for commercial real estate vary widely. Many times, the lease term will depend on the building type, whether it’s a one story garden type office or a multi-story/multi-tenant building that you’d see downtown and other areas of Baton Rouge.

Lease terms can range from 6 month leases to 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, all the way up to 10 year. A long term lease in the Baton Rouge market is considered anything 5 years and above. Three year leases fall right in the middle. Usually, landlords are hesitant to go with a 1 year or 6 month lease.

If you’re going to go with a shorter-term lease, you should expect to have less room to work with on certain improvements and customizations you may want to make for the office space. The landlord isn’t going to want to perform a lot of upgrades only to change them when your lease is up in 6 months or a year.

The longest term lease that I’ve negotiated has been a 10 year lease with a 10 year possible extension. It’s important to remember, however, that an extension doesn’t factor into the actual lease term. The lease is based on the base term and extensions are added on later.

George Bonvillain, Office Specialist
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