In October, I was pleased to chair our Third Annual Commercial Leasing Seminar. I took the opportunity to present on the issue of signage rights in commercial leases. While relatively simple as a concept, it’s an area in which I’ve seen clients having to face challenging issues. My observation is that signs can be important to a business’ success and therefore they’re important to tenants. It’s important for landlords to understand this and to proactively be prepared to deal with these issues.
Therefore, here are my top tips for landlords to proactively deal with signage issues:
- Have a detailed signage policy that deals with issues such as sign criteria, approval processes, compliance with laws and permit requirements
- Have systems in place to consistently require compliance with your signage policies and specific lease signage provisions
- Track pre-existing special rights granted including exclusive signage rights granted
- Be specific regarding signage rights in offers and leases but remember that any rights granted are subject to compliance with landlord’s signage policy
With some preparation, landlords can clearly communicate their requirements to their tenants up front and track various tenant signage rights, thus reducing the possibility of signage issues in the future.