The Best Way to Navigate the Tenant-Landlord Relationship0

Posted by Thomas Miller, CCIM

targetThe relationship between a landlord and a tenant is a constantly moving target. After all, each side needs the other. So when does the relationship favor one or other – or neither side? That’s directly related to market conditions and lease terms and market conditions, which means it’s entirely variable. When it comes to the tenant-landlord relationship, here’s the best way to navigate.

Remember Where You Stand

It’s not uncommon for landlords to have property manager group manage housekeeping items – collecting rent, recapturing NNN costs, paying bills and generally managing the property. In this scenario, a property manager is often tenant’s main point of contact for things relating to occupancy of the property. In the natural course of things, tenants become friendly with their property manager contacts. And yet, this can be the root of problems down the line. If you’re in the habit of speaking openly about business plans, including casual references to things like how work is going, whether you’ve lost or gained any contracts, whether you’re hiring or laying off staff, even whether you’re adding or removing new products and service, be clear that this is valuable information – to your landlord.

And the chances are good that it’s information his property manager will pass along.

The more your landlord knows about you and your business, the better – for him. Just as the attorney warns his client not to say anything in court, so should you warn your staff. We’re not suggesting no conversation ever, but it’s important for you and your staff to understand that the property manager is in the business of managing real estate for sophisticated ownership groups. What they know about your business helps them negotiate the best transaction for the owner, and that unfortunately will come at your expense.

Tips for Navigating these Relationships

Tip 1: Put that project manager relationship to work for you.

If you’re chummy with the project manager, see what you can learn more about your landlord – but avoid oversharing about your own business. If you can casually inquire about any upcoming vacancies in the building or whether any deals are being offered to new or renewing tenants, do so. But it’s always wise to stay silent or vague about your company.

Tip 2: Stay in touch with your agent for important guidance about your lease that puts your interests first

Keep in mind, the best time to renew your lease isn’t always the most obvious, nor is when you’ve done so in years past. Stay in contact with your real estate professional – he or she should be closely looped in to the local market and can offer guidance with insightful market data directly related to your lease and your business.

Tip 3: Don’t stay with an agent who isn’t doing his very best for you before, during and after a transaction.

If you feel like your agent does the bare minimum, you’re being under-served. Don’t settle for that. Instead, find a local agent with the experience and track record to serve you properly. At Miller Industrial Properties, we welcome the opportunity to represent you and your business. And there will be no doubt in your mind that you’re getting the very best.

Our posts are intended to educate commercial real estate users so they can make better decisions in their real estate use, investments, buying and selling. We encourage your input and commentary. If you are enjoying these posts and finding them useful, help spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + or email with the buttons above.

About the Author

Thomas Miller, CCIM

Thomas Miller, CCIM is the president and broker of Miller Industrial Properties in Reno, Nevada. He has worked in industrial real estate since 1991, with 15 years of previous experience designing and building industrial warehousing and manufacturing facilities in the northern Nevada market. Contact Tom at or 775-742-9891.

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