On behalf of Michael Brooks of Law Offices of Michael A. Brooks posted in commercial real estate on Thursday, April 26, 2018.

There are two times of the year that mall kiosks and pop-ups seem to thrive: right before the holidays in December and in the middle of summer. A lot of people hit the malls to relax while they beat the heat.

A kiosk or pop-up can be very profitable for many small businesses, especially if they’re trying to make themselves known and reach out to new customers. However, there are some things about the temporary commercial leases that owners need to keep in mind — so that the whole thing doesn’t backfire on them and end up costing money.

Everything is negotiable

Unlike residential leases, commercial landlords know that they are going to have to bargain with prospective tenants. The lease they offer will be written to primarily benefit the landlord and is his or her “ideal” lease. It isn’t your ideal lease, however.

You absolutely have the power to negotiate a better deal. Malls need all the extra help they can get bringing people through the doors. Your kiosk or pop-up helps drive up interest in the mall in general. If you fail to negotiate a better deal for yourself, you’re losing money.

Stores may not want you there

Stores that inhabit the mall all year aren’t necessarily overjoyed to see a kiosk or pop-up store just outside their doors. They may feel that you’re driving potential customers away. If your kiosk or pop-up is particularly interesting, your customers might also end up blocking foot traffic outside a store.

Before you sign a lease with the mall’s owner, find out whether or not stores have a right to force you to move. If so, that could be a problem — your temporary store won’t do much business if it gets bounced from spot to spot and eventually has to set up shop in a half-empty corridor.

Never assume utilities and storage are part of a deal

Always remember that if a lease doesn’t specifically address an issue, that’s not likely to work in your favor. For example, if you need to use some of the mall’s storage space for your excess inventory, you could end up frustrated if the lease doesn’t directly permit that. Whatever you want, get it in writing.

Kiosk and pop-up leases are very similar to other commercial leases — which means you need to be just as cautious as always.

Source: FindLaw, “Negotiating a Lease for Commercial Real Estate,” accessed April 26, 2018

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