The Commercial Office Lease Handbook
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The Commercial Office Lease Handbook

The Commercial Office Lease Handbook
Product Code: 5430440
Authors: Lawrence D. Eisenberg, Jonathan L. Mechanic, David Alan Richards
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 978-1-59031-193-6
Page Count: 604
Trim Size: 7 x 10 paperback
Sponsoring Entities: Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law
Topics: Real Estate Law
Format: Book - 5430440
Pricing: $149.95 (Regular)
$129.95 (Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law) ABA Members, Log in now to receive this discount!
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About the Book

The Commercial Office Lease Handbook: New York Model Clauses and Commentary provides a fuller understanding of each critical provision of an office lease: why it is included, why it is important to both the landlord and the tenant, and why and how to best negotiate it. The authors focus on the provisions of the standard printed office lease most commonly used in New York and compare that form with a more complex commercial office lease having the same structure. They offer practical insights about the perspectives of both landlord and tenant in the negotiating process, noting which clauses are essential and which - if not amended - may provide traps for the unwary. Although it examines two New York model forms, the book's practical comparative format, expert commentary, and negotiating tips are valuable tools for real estate practitioners in any jurisdiction.

The book combines, side-by-side and clause-by-clause, organized commentary on the Real Estate Board of New York, Inc.'s ubiquitous "Standard Form of Office Lease," along with a common but sophisticated model form of manuscript lease that might be prepared for any office building landlord. Because the section headings in both forms are almost identical, this format assists the real estate lawyer by providing easy-to-find, helpful examples and practice commentary for any lease form, in any state, provision by provision.

The Commercial Office Lease Handbook is organized into 54 chapters, with each corresponding to a single functional article of two different model lease forms covered in the text. Each chapter contains sections detailing the lease form:
  • General Purpose: explains the need met by the article and how it functions

  • Sample Clause: sets forth the applicable article of the sophisticated form office lease

  • Landlord Concerns: explains why the article is important to the landlord and distinguishes between the portions that are most vital to the landlord's concerns and those that are desirable but ultimately optional

  • Tenant Concerns: explains the pitfalls of the article from the tenant's perspective, shows which portions the tenant must negotiate and how to negotiate them, and those portions that should be acceptable to the tenant, if not desirable

  • Standard Real Estate Board of New York Clause: sets forth the parallel article from the REBNY "Standard Form"

  • Comments on the Standard Real Estate Board of New York Clause: explains how the model article differs from the REBNY "Standard Form"

  • Litigation Issues: discusses case law applicable to the article, including citations
The Commercial Office Lease Handbook is an invaluable resource for understanding and negotiating all likely office space lease provisions in addition to several less common clauses. The book's unique treatment explaining each clause with contrasting party commentary makes this a valuable tool for negotiating the best possible lease for a client, whether for a landlord or a tenant. Appendix contains the Standard Form of Office Lease from the Real Estate Board of New York, Inc.
What Others Have Said

"The Commercial Office Lease Handbook is a must-have and frequently used deskbook not only for New York real estate lawyers, but for any lawyer whose practice includes any commercial leasing work. It is encyclopedic in scope but practical and easy to use. It's a masterpiece combining a discussion of issues and solutions with readily useable language."

Richard A. Cantlin
Former President, American College of Real Estate Attorneys
Perkins Coie LLP
Portland, OR


"This book is an absolutely essential addition to the library of any commercial real estate lawyer (not just one from New York) who does office leasing as a part of his or her practice. The format is very unique - one that allows the reader to truly understand each particular lease clause. The writing is concise, very understandable and logical. The authors are experienced real estate practice who clearly 'knows their stuff.'"

Philip J. Bagley, III
Former President, American College of Real Estate Attorneys
Troutman Sanders Mays & Valentine LLP
Richmond, VA


"The Commercial Office Lease Handbook will be a terrific addition to the bookshelf of any commercial leasing lawyer, whether in New York City or anywhere else in the country. In their book, Larry Eisenberg, Jon Mechanic, and David Richards explain point by point, section by section, how a lease works and each of the issues it raises. They suggest their own sample lease language, and compare it against the "Real Estate Board of New York" form of lease, a very common starting point for leases in New York City. In the process, they explain why each of these lease provisions matters, how it works for a landlord, and how it sometimes doesn't work for a tenant. Although the book is somewhat New York oriented, about 95% of it applies to any sophisticated commercial real estate leasing transaction anywhere in the country.

For many of the troublesome issues and problems that arise in lease negotiations, the authors suggest reasonable resolutions - sometimes more than one possibility - always written reasonably and clearly and tied to the discussion in their text. Each chapter concludes with a brief discussion (prepared by Asher Fried) of how the courts have dealt with the particular issue the chapter covers. This gives the book depth and perspective and it helps the reader understand yet again why all these issues matter. The authors write in a practical, down to earth way, emphasizing what happens in the real world and how it drives the language of the lease.

For someone who is new to leasing, this book provides a great introduction to the area. For someone with a decade or two of experience, this book will become an indispensable tool, because it offers practical and intelligent insights and compromises for the issues that commercial leasing lawyers deal with every day. Highly recommended."


Joshua Stein
Latham & Watkins LLP
New York, NY


"The newly published American Bar Association text entitled The Commercial Office Lease Handbook is an extremely valuable contribution to the legal literature on commercial leasing. Co-authored by David Alan Richards, Lawrence Eisenberg and Jonathan Mechanic, its 54 chapters are broad in scope, including specimen clauses and expert commentary. It will be an essential tool for younger real estate lawyers and a most useful library reference and reminder for more experienced counsel. The emphasis on the respective concerns of landlord and tenant provide a highly desirable practical bent to the subject."

Anthony B. Kuklin
Former Chair, ABA Section of Real Property, Probate & Trust Law and
Former President, American College of Real Estate Attorneys
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, New York, NY
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Table of Contents