Part 11*: Who pays for utilities in a Commercial Lease?

It depends. In many office leases, electric is built into the rent. For example, a Tenant may pay base rent plus two dollars per square foot for electric.

On a retail lease, the utilities may be separately metered. For example, a restaurant or laundromat may have a separate meter for water, gas and electric and the Tenant is responsible for maintaining those meters and paying for the utilities based on the Tenant’s consumption.

Many leases will also address related items such as the cost of trash removal, and snow and ice removal. These items may be billed to Tenant based on a proportionate share if there are other tenants in the building. These items could also be included in common area maintenance and/or paid over a base year.

Each lease is different, and the attorneys’ job is to ensure that the lease clearly and accurately memorializes the business arrangement between the parties.

*Thank you for taking the time to read this article. This article is part of our “Commercial Leasing for Non-Lawyers,” a Blog Series on Commercial Leasing. Other aspects of commercial leasing transactions in New York are discussed in other Parts of this series.

For questions about residential real estate law, or general information about our firm, please contact us at (914) 338-8050 or send an e-mail to We look forward to hearing from you.

Betensky Law PLLC
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(914) 338-8050

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