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A tenant fixturing period and free rent periods are advantageous for commercial tenants - they allow you to occupy your premises without having to pay rent.
The intent of the fixturing period is to provide the tenant a time period to have access to the space and complete the construction of the tenant improvements - in other words, to fixture the premises.
Normally tenant fixturing periods are completely rent free, excluding electricity costs (in order to construct your improvements, you require lights and electricity for drills, etc.).
Mid to large sized landlords have multiple layers of management. The ultimate "landlord" are typically shareholders in a REIT or pension fund, and they are far removed from the actual spaces that get rented.
Therefore these investors do not know the shape that individual suites are in (and do not know how much fixturing is required).
If you want to rent a unit that requires little to no actual construction work, the landlord shareholders typically will not know this. The leasing agent normally just wants to lease space and will do what is necessary to accomplish that goal.
So if you submit letter of intent or an offer to lease with a four month fixturing period (but you are just going to occupy the space as-is), the leasing manager can sell that deal internally as something that is required.
In other words, nobody on the landlord side says, "Does the tenant really need four months to construct their tenant improvements?"
They simply write off the four month fixturing period as a cost of doing business and a request that any tenant would request to lease that particular premises.
As a write off, they are not factoring that rent free period into their net effective rent. Therefore you can still ask for a free rent period after the fixturing period ends.
January 1 - April 30 - 4 month fixturing period (you are "constructing" your space but really you just move in and commence your business operations).
May 1 - the lease commences and you signed a 5 year term with 4 months of gross free rent.
In this case you are getting 8 months of free rent (except for electricity costs in the fixturing period), but the landlord is really looking at it from their side as a 5 year deal with 4 months of gross free rent. So the tenant's calculation of effective rent (5 year, 4 month horizon with 8 months free) is more favorable than the landlord?s calculation (5 year horizon with 4 months free).
If you had approached the lease without a fixturing period, you likely would have just ended up with the 5 years and 4 months free.
Attached as Schedule B are specifications describing all the improvements for the Premises to be provided and installed by the Landlord at its expense (the Landlord's Work). All other improvements to be installed will be completed by the Tenant at its expense (the Tenant's Work). Tenant's Work shall commence five (5) business days after the date of execution of the Lease by Tenant, and shall continue until the Commencement Date (the Fixturing Period). The Landlord will substantially complete all Landlord's Work prior to the Fixturing Period in a good and workmanlike manner and as provided in the Lease.
The Tenant shall have the option of using the Landlord's contractor(s) or selecting its own contractor(s) and/or sub-contractor(s) for Tenant's Work (with the exception of the electrical and mechanical systems, which shall require use of the Landlord's contractor(s)).
In the event that the Tenant completes Tenant's Work prior to the Commencement Date, then the Tenant shall be permitted to occupy the Premises and commence its business operations, provided that the Tenant remains governed by all applicable terms of the Lease as if the Lease were in full force and effect, save only as to any Net Rent and Additional Rent payable which will not be payable prior to the Commencement Date.
The Tenant will submit for the Landlord's approval detailed working drawings for Tenant's Work. All plans, drawings and specifications for Tenant's Work and the Tenant's choice of contractors shall be subject to the prior approval of the Landlord, not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed.