Landlord Work Letter Defined

When a tenant leases a space, what the landlord provides is part of the negotiation. Sometimes the landlord will provide a space “AS-IS” with no further improvements. Sometimes the landlord will provide a tenant allowance (check to
tenant, amount negotiable) to help improve the existing conditions. Sometimes the landlord will provide a “vanilla shell.”

Below is an example of a typical landlord “vanilla shell” outline.


Electrical service to space: If electrical service is provided the landlord has met their obligation. If the electrical service is only 200 amps and you needed 400 amps of service than the expense of upgrading the electrical service from 200 amps to 400 amps falls to the responsibility of the tenant. That is why the tenant and landlord should negotiate the definition of what will be an acceptable “vanilla shell.” 

Landlord Outline of an Acceptable Vanilla Shell

Description of a Landlord's Work Responsibility

Complete store front, including front door.

Concrete slab ready to receive vinyl tile.

Demised lease space to be sheet rocked, taped and spackled from the slab to the drop ceiling. Ready to paint.

Bathroom to include toilet, sink and electric water heater.

Rear service door with lock and key, if required by code.

Electrical service to space.

Complete HVAC system, including ductwork. Unit to be sized, to no less than one ton per each 500 square feet of gross floor area.

2’ x 4’ acoustical ceiling at 9 foot minimum height.

2’ x 4’ electrical light fixtures to provide 70 foot candle illumination.

Landlord to provide wall between sales and stockroom, which will have a door, lock and key.

Sprinkler system if required by governmental agency. Should a fire protection system be required, Landlord shall have the option to terminate this lease if the cost, in Landlord’s judgment, is unreasonable.

Any items not specifically listed as Landlord’s work above shall be the responsibility of the tenant.
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