Tenant Representation – Commercial Leases

Los Angeles County – Ventura County

What is a Tenant Broker – Agent


Pacific-Realtors.net - Established in 1987



A tenant broker-agent or tenant representative is a commercial leasing agent that represents prospective tenants, not landlords. Tenant agents or representatives (reps) inform their clients about the availability of suitable commercial space, current market conditions, and negotiate on behalf of their clients with landlords or landlords' leasing agents. It is important to differentiate between agents that represent the interests of prospective tenants from leasing agents that represent the interests of landlords.

Tenant broker-agents or representatives with Pacific-Realtors.net can be relied upon to provide their clients with objective advice because their commission income is not tied to any one particular commercial property. In short, they protect their clients.


Reasons to Use Tenant Leasing Representatives

  • Prospective tenants avoid dealing directly with a leasing agent that represents the interests of the landlord. Even if the landlord's leasing agent represents that he or she will act as a dual agent, the leasing agent continues to represent the landlord. You can be certain that a landlord's leasing agent will never direct a prospective tenant to a building where the lease terms are more favorable for the tenant. A tenant rep will show a prospective tenant all suitable commercial space. This can save a tenant thousands of dollars over the term of a lease.
  • The services of a tenant representative costs nothing because the listing agent that represents the landlord will divide the listing commission with the agent representing the tenant as part of the normal brokerage fee sharing arrangement.
  • As the exclusive agent of a prospective tenant, the tenant rep can disclose information to his or her client, the prospective tenant, that the landlord's agent could and would never disclose.
  • As the exclusive agent of prospective tenant, the tenant rep will not "inadvertently" disclose your confidential information to the landlord.
  • Tenant reps will almost always save prospective tenants money because leasing agents that represent building owners (the agent named on the sign) are motivated to satisfy their clients.
  • Tenant representatives make it their business to be familiar with current market conditions and which building owners are most likely to offer the best lease terms.
  • Tenant reps make it their business to understand the complex provisions usually included in commercial lease documents and often have access to in-house or retained real estate attorneys when legal advice is required.

Commercial Leasing - Tenant Representation

Frequently Asked Questions

How long has Pacific-Realtors.net been in business?

The firm started doing business in 1987, but the owner of the firm, Michael Chulak, became licensed as a real estate broker in 1971.


What are the differences between leasing agents and tenant representatives?

Leasing agents represent the interest of the landlord. Tenant representatives or tenant reps, represent the interests of tenants, not the landlord. The identity of the landlord's leasing agent will generally be found on a sign located on the owner's building. Tenant reps will not have a sign on the landlord's building.


What is the difference between an assignment of a lease and sublease?

There is a great deal of confusion between the differences which are quite substantial. See: Assignment of Lease or Sublease?


Do I need a tenant rep to locate a suitable building for my business?

Finding buildings for lease is relatively easy. Negotiating the best available lease terms is where the knowledge and experience of a tenant rep becomes valuable. Remember, landlords and leasing agents representing building owners negotiate leases every day. You probably don't which is why we can protect you and also save you money.


What is dual agency?

A dual agency occurs when one agent works for two opposing parties such as a landlord and prospective tenant in the same transaction. At one time, dual agencies were not permitted in California. They are currently permitted if both parties who have conflicting interests agree to accept the dual agency relationship. Dual agencies are very risky for tenants.


If the landlord uses an agent from a commercial leasing firm and the prospective tenant uses another agent from the same firm, does a dual agency still exist?



We are a tenant in an office building and have outgrown our space. Since we still have two years to run on our existing lease, we need to sublease our space. Should we let the leasing agent for the building handle the sublease or should we utilize the services of a tenant rep?

You will be better served by using a tenant rep who will represent your interests. The leasing agent for the building must protect the interests of the landlord. Our firm represents tenants and can assist with all areas of business-corporate relocation.


Will I need the services of a real estate attorney to review a lease document before I sign it?

It is always a good practice to have a real estate attorney review a complex document such as a commercial lease before signing it.


Is a letter of intent legally binding?

Letters of intent are usually not binding but it depends on the specific language. If you are in doubt, have a real estate attorney review it.


What are some of the provisions that landlords attempt to include in their leases that should be of concern to prospective commercial tenants?

There are too many to list and there are new traps constantly being created by landlords, their attorneys, and their leasing agents. Following are a few examples:

  • The unrestricted right to relocate the tenant within the property;
  • Severe limits on the tenant's right to sublease or assign his or her lease;
  • The pass through of excessive expenses such as future leasing fees and real estate tax increases resulting from the transfer of title to  the building, large management fees, and expense reimbursements paid to the building owner;
  • Unreasonable hold harmless and indemnification provisions;
  • Severe restrictions on signs;
  • An unlimited personal guaranty for the obligations of the business leasing the space;
  • An unreasonable or inaccurate formula for measuring the amount of space being paid for by the tenant;
  • Strict limits on how the space may be utilized by the tenant;
  • Requirements that the business remain open for business during specified hours; and
  • Large holdover penalties that apply at the end of the lease if you don't vacate on time.


How are FICO scores determined and how can a FICO score be improved?

A FICO score is a credit score created by the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). Lenders and lessors use the scores to make credit granting decisions. See: FICO Score - Credit Score for detailed answers to your questions.


We are currently leasing a commercial condominium. Can you represent us in purchasing the property from the owner?



We are interested in selling our business. Can you assist us with a sale?

Yes. Our affiliate, Pacific Business Advisors has been representing sellers and buyers of businesses since 1987.


May we distribute your articles to others and add them to our website?

Yes, provided we are given credit for writing the article. Every one of our articles includes our identifying information at the bottom which must be included. There is no cost for using our articles.


Cost Segregation Analysis

Cost segregation consists of a process whereby building components that can be depreciated over a relatively short time (5 to 15 years) are identified and reclassified so that accelerated depreciation can be calculated and claimed by the building owner, resulting in the significant deferral of state and federal income taxes and greater cash flow. See more.


Glossary of Commercial Tenant Leasing Terms

Checklist for Commercial Leases

Tenant Representation – Commercial Leases
Legal Disclaimer
DRE License# 02180589

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