The lease commencement date in a commercial lease typically refers to the start date of the lease term. It's worth noting that the lease commencement date is not always the date the Tenant begins paying rent as rent abatement or early occupancy may have been negotiated.
Commercial lease commencement dates will be written differently in leases depending on the existing condition of the commercial space rented or what has been negotiated.
For example if tenant improvements are needed you may see the lease commencement date stated as the earlier or later of the date a Tenant occupies any portion of a space and begins conducting business or the date on which the improvements have been completed by the landlord as per the work letter.
If no tenant improvements are needed the lease commencement date may say the earlier of a specified date or the date when a Tenant begins occupying the space.
Example Lease Commencement Date With Tenant Improvements
The earliest of (a) the date on which Tenant occupies any portion of the Premises and begins conducting business therein, (b) the date on which the Work (as defined in Exhibit D hereto) in the Premises is Substantially Completed (as defined in Exhibit D hereto), or (c) 90 days after the date on which Landlord tenders possession of the Premises to Tenant (subject to the terms and conditions set forth in Section 3 of the Lease).
Example Lease Commencement Date Without Tenant Improvements
As used herein, “Commencement Date” means the date which is the earlier to occur of (i) May 1, 2020 or (ii) the date on which Tenant begins occupancy of the Leased Premises. Within five (5) calendar days after the Commencement Date or at any time thereafter on the request of Landlord, Tenant shall execute and deliver to Landlord a declaration, similar in form to Exhibit “F” attached hereto, specifying and verifying, among other things, the Commencement Date, the Rent Commencement Date and Termination Date, the number of rentable square feet, Tenant’s initial Tenant’s Share of Operating Costs, the rent schedule, prepaid rent, if any, the amount of the security deposit, and such other information the Landlord may request, including acceptance of construction, if construction was a part of the Lease terms.