Landlords who want to draft commercial leases for a business entity may discover that the document itself can become overwhelming, especially considering that the provisions change depending on the state.

Generally speaking, a Wisconsin commercial lease agreement involves a reasonable contract between the two parties involved. There, the landlords and tenants must negotiate the terms of using the premises for business activities. If you want your renting experience in Wisconsin to be comfortable, you must ensure you're applying all of the rules that this lease agreement involves.

The following page will outline how a Wisconsin commercial lease agreement works, including some vital clauses everyone should know, including landlord and tenant rights for the leased property.

Wisconsin leases

Currently, there are three types of lease documents the landlord can consider to rent their retail, office, or industrial property to someone else. Make sure to read the following section to understand each type and see which one suits your needs the best.

  • Gross Lease: In a gross lease, the tenant must pay rent each month, whereas the landlord is responsible for paying for all the other expenses surrounding the property, including insurance, property taxes, and area expenses.
  • Triple Net Lease: Triple net leases are quite the contrary to gross leases. Here, the tenant must pay for all the expenses surrounding the property, including rent, taxes, insurance, and other area expenses. These leases are, therefore, considered a landlord-friendly option.
  • Modified Gross Lease: This lease benefits each party in different ways since the landlord and tenant are allowed to negotiate the conditions for renting the business unit. If you're looking for a middle-ground option, this may be the best one.

Write your own

The following section defines all of the conditions and provisions each party involved in the lease must know. All of these provisions apply whether you're leasing an office, industrial, or retail space.

Introduction | Primary Factors

In the introduction for the document, the landlord must specify the base information for the business unit, including the address of the premises, the legal names of all the parties involved, and the lease term.

Moreover, the unit owner must include a brief description of the property while considering the following:

  • Available Utilities
  • Square Footage
  • Type of Property

Then, the tenant must specify how they will use the unit for their business activities during the lease term.

Finally, the introduction must outline a 'Tenant's Obligations' clause where the owner will explain all of the tenant's responsibilities for managing the business unit.

Moreover, both parties must come to an agreement regarding who will be paying for vital expenses, including:

  • Maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Taxes

Rent, Security Deposit, and Renewal

This section of the agreement will outline the base rent the tenant must pay each month. Moreover, the landlord must include a clause that explains the consequences of not paying/remitting rent within a particular period.

On the other hand, a security deposit is used by the landlord to cover any extensive damage caused to the business unit during the commercial lease term. If the landlord wants to order a security deposit, they must request a reasonable amount and outline where the funds will get saved.

It's vital to note that a landlord can allow their tenant to renew the lease if they want. However, they must state the renewal terms in the document.

Licenses and Permits

Every owner must ensure that their unit complies with all Wisconsin laws before leasing it to a tenant. Moreover, the tenant must ensure that their business has all the proper documentation to operate in the state of Wisconsin.

Vital Clauses

Consider the following clauses when drafting your commercial lease in Wisconsin:

  • Subleasing
  • Bankruptcy Statement
  • Indemnification Statement
  • Waivers and Holdovers
  • Right of Entry
  • Parking

Miscellaneous Information

The following terms are not necessary for a commercial lease, but you may still consider them if you want:

  • Advertising Policies
  • Sign Placements
  • Pet Policies
  • Smoking Rules

Specific Considerations

These are vital clauses that you must pay close attention to when drafting the lease:

  • Damage to the Unit
  • Evictions
  • Surrender of Premises
  • Percentage-based Lease Terms (if applicable)

Mandatory Disclosures

In Wisconsin, the only mandatory disclosure you must consider is the lead-based paint clause. If your business unit was built before 1978, you must provide the tenant with information about the possible appearance of lead paint there.

The reason why this is so important is that lead paint has been proven to be hazardous for young children and pregnant women.

Build Your Own

If you don't have enough time to draft a lease yourself, consider downloading our commercial lease form today. Each form on our website includes all the information that a tenant and landlord should know regarding their rights and responsibilities.

You can download these forms in either Word or PDF format. All you have to do is go into the "Commercial Lease Agreements" section and choose the option that fits your criteria. You can also customize each of these templates to include special clauses you consider important for your building.

Bottom Line

If you, as a business unit owner, are looking to ensure the healthiest relationship with your tenant, make sure to take the time to review each of the clauses included on this page. When you understand how the landlord and tenant rules work, you're more likely to come to an agreement that suits everyone.

In case you want to make things faster, consider downloading one of our templates today. Remember that you can also customize these pages so that they fit your rental needs.


Do Commercial Lease Agreements in Wisconsin Need to Be Notarized?

No. Commercial leases don't have to be notarized in this state. However, any party involved in the lease can request to have the lease notarized just in case.

Can Landlords Evict Their Commercial Tenants Legally?

Yes. A landlord can evict their tenant from the building if the tenant breaches the lease in any way. On the other hand, if the landlord wants to terminate the lease for any reason, they must provide the tenant with at least 28 days of written notice before the next payment of rent.

Do Commercial Leases in Wisconsin Need to Be in Writing?

Although there's not much information surrounding this question, it's always recommended to have these documents in writing. That way, there's proof of everything that both parties agreed upon.

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David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!