10-Step Due Diligence Process Before Leasing Your Retail, Restaurant, or Medical Office Space

Embarking on a commercial lease without proper due diligence can lead to unforeseen challenges, ranging from structural issues to legal and compliance difficulties.

However, a comprehensive due diligence process will provide you with critical information before you commit to a lease, mitigating future surprises. 
If you’re new to this, our step-by-step process can help. Our methodology offers a holistic analysis of your prospective lease, outlining the physical, legal, and financial elements that could impact your business. 

Step 1:

Feasibility Study & Summary of Findings

  • Understand the viability of the commercial space in relation to your specific business needs and objectives. 
  • Compile a summary of key findings, including potential challenges and opportunities. 

Step 2:

Space Plan

  • A comprehensive space plan ensures the property meets your operational needs. 
  • Develop preliminary space layouts and flow diagrams. 

Step 3:

Preliminary Code Analysis

  • Insight into local regulatory compliances, mitigating the risk of legal complications down the line. 
  • Consider specific requirements for retail, restaurant, or medical office spaces. 

Step 4:

Building Assessment

  • Perform a detailed evaluation of the property’s condition to anticipate potential repair and maintenance costs. 

Step 5:

Existing Photographs & Measurements

  • Collect accurate visual and dimensional data of the property; this is crucial for planning and design. 

Step 6:

As-Built Review with Existing Drawings

  • Analyze the property’s existing structures and installations to provide a clear starting point for any modifications or refurbishments. 

Step 7:

LL Work Letter

  • Review landlord obligations and commitments to prevent unexpected responsibilities and expenses. 
  • Compare landlord’s scope of work with project requirements.  

Step 8:


  • Develop a detailed project timeline from lease execution to substantial completion of modifications to help you plan your business operations accordingly. 
  • Identify key milestones and consider potential delays or risks to the schedule. 

Step 9:


  • Estimate a comprehensive budget, including projected costs and expenses such as design, construction, permits, and contingencies. 
  • Review potential cost-saving opportunities. 

Step 10:

Equipment Inventory

  • Assess equipment needs for your retail, restaurant, or medical office space. 
  • Evaluate existing equipment, if any, and identify additional requirements. 
  • Develop a thorough inventory list and sourcing strategy, ensuring code compliance and operational efficiency. 

The due diligence process is a critical step in any commercial lease agreement. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the property and the potential costs involved, helping you to make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.

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