Are you considering NYC Law Office Sublet? Before you sign a sublease beware.
Subletting an office space for your New York City law practice has its advantages. One of the largest is that you gain access to a professional space that is run by another firm. The headaches and time saved by choosing a sublet office arrangement as a opposed to a direct-to-landlord lease will save your solo or small firm practice countless billable hours.
On the flip side are inherent dangers associated with sublet arrangements. Many of these liabilities are omitted from the lease agreement or are hidden in very fine print.
First and foremost, research the firm you are considering subletting from.
Read the fine print – and then read between the lines
Many law firms that are leasing space do not have a designated real estate team to list or show offices. Good luck pinning down a time to check out an office from an attorney who is not in real estate and has dozens of other tasks to complete. A successful law firm generally has no need to sublet to other law firms, so be suspicious about the availability.
While investigating a potential sublet some useful questions to ask are:
Are they current with their obligations owed to the landlord?
Why are there units available?
What if the firm expands? Will my sublet be taken over?
Have there been layoffs or major defections amongst the firm?
Being a landlord is a full-time gig. The law firm that is subletting office space needs manage these responsibilities in addition to their full-time legal practice. Which one do you think suffers?
There’s an art and science to serving the needs of tenants.
The law firm that sublets empty office space likely does not have the bandwidth to adequately service your most basic needs, nor are they incentivized enough to be viewed as a source for cash to offset expenses, and your needs to be a nuisance to their primary duty: practicing law.
Do your homework and scrutinize potential subleases, by doing so you can save yourself the headache and strain on your wallet from having to deal with a surreptitious contract.